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Brookfield Zoo Brings In Ice Blocks As Polar Bears Face Tropical Weather

Animals At In The Brookfield Zoo Try To Beat The Summer Heat
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BROOKFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Animals at the Brookfield Zoo are getting a little help with staying cool.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Brandis Friedman reports, Brookfield Zoo nutritionist Dr. Jennifer Watts says the animals will be getting ice — lots of it.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Brandis Friedman reports

“Some 300 pound blocks of ice that we’ll be able to dump in the pool and give them something to play with and be able to cool off,” she said of the polar bears.

The ice is going in pools not only for the polar bears, but a few other animals will get the chance to chill out as well.

“We’ll also be offering it to our big cats, and our sloth bears, also our reindeer,” Watts said. “A lot of people forget that reindeer are used to cooler temperatures so we make sure we keep them nice and cool. Probably also, our camels and kangaroos will get some as well.”

She adds the animals will also have access to the indoor homes, shade and misters.

“For animals like the reindeer we have a mister set up on them, because they are little bit more sensitive to temperature,” Watts said. “But all day tomorrow, the keepers will be doing misting from hoses on some of the animals.”

Watts explains the ice and misters, as well as shade and indoor spaces, are mostly for the animals comfort, but there is some concern about their health.

“Most of the time the animals are smart enough to keep low activity level, and things like that,” she said, “but in addition to making sure our keepers are safe and know the signs of heat stress, that they also know the signs in our animals.”

Watts says Nadeau’s Ice Sculptures volunteered to generously donated the ice to share with the animals.