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Keeping Exotic Animals Cool in the Ozarks Summer

STRAFFORD, Mo. -- With summer in full swing, tigers, wolves and even bears have to stay cool and hydrated. Living outside makes it no easy task when it comes to consecutive days with extreme heat.
STRAFFORD, Mo. -- With summer in full swing, tigers, wolves and even bears have to stay cool and hydrated. Living outside makes it no easy task when it comes to consecutive days with extreme heat.

Sondra Morgan spends each morning walking Wild Animal Safari to check on not only her animals but pets.

Morgan says when it comes to weather, animals know best.

"They will predict the weather, no offense, better than your meteorologist," says Morgan.

Even these 17-day-old Bengal tiger cubs and wolf pups can sense the weather and know how to stay cool. 

"We put a pool in there for the wolves but they are nine weeks, maybe eight weeks so they are doing okay in the heat. They can regulate their own temperature."

Wild Animal Safari is home to more than 70 species of animals and almost all can handle the heat and severe weather of an Ozarks summer.

"They don't play a lot during the daytime. That minimizes as much as they overheat but when they do overheat, you'll see them panting, they'll have their tongues out just like your regular house pet."

But they do have quite the attitude with rain.

"Stormy weather always entices attitude, you'll hear a lot of the wolves howling, the new guinea singing dogs and the tigers always do the chuffing."

Morgan says the animals have constant access to water and cold places.

"They are always getting the cold water, we also supply them with their water bowls and we fill those twice a day but the automatic water gives them the cool water and they have water enrichment in the enclosures."

There are other ways to stay cool as well.

"Tigers have a huge fountain and we do bloodcicles for all the carnivores, so we take the drained blood from the meat that we feed out to them, we fill them up in big blocks. And then we drop them for them and they just lick away on their bloodcicles."

Even when it may get too hot out for us, Wild Animal Safari is full of animals ready to have fun in the sun.

Wild Animal Safari is open seven days a week until 7:30 at night. Tickets for the walk through and driving safari are available until 6:15.
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