Animals Keep Cool at the Dakota Zoo - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Animals Keep Cool at the Dakota Zoo

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It's a hot day for humans, but it can be even hotter for the furry friends at the Dakota Zoo.

Animals at the Dakota Zoo take a splash in the pond, roll around in the mud, and chill under the trees to beat the heat.

But, the staff at the Dakota Zoo is also trying to help keep the animals cool.

"Usually if we have the humidity and rain they're pretty comfortable, but anytime it gets above 90 degrees we start looking at cooling them down," says Zookeeper Dave Ely.

It all starts with hydration and water.

"Water's number one. We've got sprinklers set up throughout different areas. Of course the pond systems that we've got set up. All the different water ponds. And the bears and the otters have got their own ponds, but then some of the other animals don't have that luxury, so then we'll freeze up buckets of water and different ice cube trays," says Ely.

Lemurs like Simone are enjoying some frozen treats.

"We'll put fruit juice in there and fruit and we'll freeze up just plain water," says Ely.

And, if you're an otter, biting into your daily catch might be a little chilly.

"We gave them a combination of live minnows today, so they had to work for it a little bit more and then we gave them frozen minnows," says Ely.

Ely says helping the animals relax is what it's all about.

"Watching their reaction with the treats that you give them. They don't have that option to go out and get a popsicle or a frozen Coke, so we put it together for them," says Ely.

A comfort that goes a long way on a hot day.

The zoo also puts up tarps so the animals have built in shade areas.

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