Summerfield Zoo animals keep cool without power - – Rockford’s News Leader

Summerfield Zoo animals keep cool without power


Staff at the Summerfield Zoo are working hard to keep animals cool, as stormy weather leaves them in the heat without power. They're using a number of tricks to keep the animals safe.

Lions, camels, and reindeer. Oh my!

That's exactly what Summerfield Zoo owner Rick Anderson was thinking at 4am, when he heard the power was out.

"It went out last week too, and it's a little better this time, because the weather's a little cooler today," Anderson said. "So we're hoping we have power by tomorrow when it's supposed to be really hot again."

Staff, volunteers, and helpful neighbors got to work quickly, using unique ways to cool the animals, like feeding lemurs popsicles, and bathing the reindeer in ice cubes. Due to the power outage from the storm, the zoo is forced to use generators to keep their animals cool. Like Dasher, the reindeer, and his friends. They're used to an arctic climate, so they're using buckets of ice, to keep them cool."

Zoo volunteer Amanda Gacioch says the reindeer have the hardest time with the heat, and you can tell.

"You can see them panting and you can tell that they're kind of uncomfortable and anxious," Gacioch says.

While the reindeer need special attention, other animals don't need much at all, like the camels and birds. They're completely comfortable with the heat, but Anderson says that if the power stays out much longer, it could be trouble.

"It's just going to cause a lot more, work for us and our volunteers because we'll probably just be going around the clock, keeping the animals cool," Anderson says. "We've got a plan in place to do that, and they're probably going to be alright, but it'll make us just probably keep moving around the clock just to make sure they're alright."

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