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How Boise Zoo plans to keep their animals safe in historically high heat

The animals at Zoo Boise come from all kinds of regions, counties, and climates. And with a heatwave coming in, that has to be taken into account.

BOISE, Idaho — With historically high heat rolling through Idaho next week, you might already be looking for ways to keep cool. Zoo Boise is already doing the same, preparing to protect the animals from the incoming heat.

The task can be especially tricky considering these animals come from different regions, countries, and climates. All of this information is considered in order to keep the animals comfortable and safe.

“We like to give our animals as many choices as possible,” Zoo Boise Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator Jeff Agosta said.

Some of the animals will hide in the shade, while others can be found relaxing in the water. Some animals can even be found doing both in an attempt to beat the heat.

Every species has a different temperature range, according to Agosta. Zoo Boise, however, works to provide the options for each animal to select and choose what they want to be comfortable with.

“When things get too hot, for example, like next week, most of the animals will have access to inside areas where they can choose if they want to go inside and cool down, get out of the heat, and come back out to the exhibit when they are ready,” Agosta said. “They’ll be able to choose for themselves if they want to go inside and cool off where it is air-conditioned, or hang out in the pool, or hang out in the shade and them come back on the exhibit.”

Fans, sprinklers, mist machines, and ice blocks are all tools used to keep the animals comfortable. If an animal is in distress or fatigued by the heat, Zoo Boise says their staff can typically tell by the animal’s behavior. In that case, Zoo Boise has a full veterinarian staff and hospital on site.

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