As a powerful heat wave hits the greater Tacoma area with temperatures in the 90s, keepers at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma are finding ways to keep the animals cool.
The safety and well-being of the animals is the keepers’ number one priority, and keepers offer all of the animals round-the-clock access to shade and fresh water. They also get lots of “yummy” ice treats, like “fishsicles” or “bloodsicles”…not quite a human’s go-to flavor for a popsicle, but they are devoured by many of the animals!
On a walk around the Zoo this morning (Tuesday), guests could see the 2-year-old polar bear sisters plunge, splash and wrestle in their saltwater pool. Sumatran tiger Sanjiv excitedly licked a pile of ice (topped with blood). Asian small-clawed otters Javin and Arista swam in their pool below a waterfall and rolled around in piles of ice. Asian elephant Suki played in her hose and gave herself a mud bath. And the penguin colony dove and swam in their pool.
“We love watching the animals enjoy their pools, ice treats, and hoses,” said the zoo’s General Curator Malia Somerville. “When the temperature is this high, we give them many options to cool off.”