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How The LA Zoo Is Keeping Critters Cool

Image of the LA Zoo sign outside the gates.
The Los Angeles Zoo is located in Griffith Park.
(Andrew Cullen for LAist)
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While the Indian gharial, addax, and tropical primates may feel at home in these triple digit temperatures, not all animals in the L.A. Zoo feel the same way.

To handle sweltering summer temperatures, the zoo generally relies on misters and water pools. But that's not enough for some animals — especially those who normally live in colder climates.

“Some of our animals like our snow leopards, they have temperature parameters and when it gets above a certain temperature we let them have access to their air conditioned holding bedroom area,” said Beth Shaffer, the Director of Animal Programs at the Los Angeles Zoo.

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An adult snow leopard turns it's head toward a cub. The big cats have light coats with dark spots.
Snow leopards photographed at the L.A. Zoo in 2009.
(David McNew
Getty Images)

For animals that can withstand the heat, zookeepers will freeze ice blocks with treats like fruits and vegetables to keep the animals cool.

Shaffer said when it comes to adaptability to the heat, the weakest creatures in the zoo often have two legs and pay admission at the front gate. She reminds those planning on visiting the zoo this weekend to pack water, wear sunblock, and do their best to stay cool.

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