Penguins At Memphis Zoo Like Memphis Heat
(Memphis) – As hot as it is, the Memphis Zoo is still a pretty busy place. Some folks are willing to brave the sweltering temperatures to get a chance to enjoy one of Memphis’ most popular attractions. The question is what about the animals. News Channel 3 went to see how they are handling the heat.
For all the heat this summer has to offer, the zoo still has some pretty cool spots. We found plenty of kids wading in the shallow pools at the front of the zoo. However, what about the animals? Are there some who really like it hot? We’re talking 100 degrees worth of hot.
“I don’t know how many of them actually enjoy it but we do have a lot of animals that are kind of used to it. They’re kind of built for dealing with the heat,” said Matt Thompson, Dir. of Animal Programs, Memphis Zoo.
Among those built for the heat, members of the African hoof family like the elephants. Elephants Ty, Gina and Asali are built for roaming the African savannahs. And, believe it or not so are the penguins at the zoo. That’s because they’re not from the ice age. They’re actually African penguins and do quite well in the heat. However, there are some animals who can’t beat the heat.
Thompson said, “Pandas come to mind because they come from a pretty cold environment. They don’t deal with our heat or our humidity well so they’ve got an inside environment.”
The zoo made provisions for them and some others, like the polar bears. They swim in a huge pool of water that a cool 65 degrees even on a day like today.
“When we built their exhibit we put a lot of thought into making them comfortable and so their water is refrigerated and what a lot of people don’t realize is a lot of rock-work in their exhibit is refrigerated as well,” said Thompson.
Still, 7-year-old Alex Davis isn’t convinced the polar bears really love Memphis in July.
Alex said, “He’s from like the south pole or the north pole.”
Alex doesn’t think the bears like the Memphis heat and neither does he.
There are misting stations all around the zoo and a lot of the exhibit houses are air-conditioned so you don’t have to walk around in the sun all day. Those air-conditioned areas are great spots for cooling off.