SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Despite the heat, it remains busy at the Dickerson Park Zoo. That has staff working to not only keep visitors cool but also the many animals.

Zookeepers said frozen treats, big fans, and outdoor misters help with keeping animals safe.

“The cats can get frozen treats,” said Zookeeper Matt Corrie. “Bloodsicles, where we freeze blood and put extra treats on it for them. They like to lick that. Some other animals will get frozen treats with fruits and vegetables in them so they can pick at them while it melts. You can make little popsicles for them out of Gatorade and things like that, too.”

Joey Powell with the zoo said there’s the best time to come for a visit. “Morning is your best bet,” said Powell.

“The animals, just like we do, they enjoy the cool of the morning.”

Visitors are also asked to take heat precautions.“Guests are more than welcome to bring a plastic water bottle into the zoo with them to stay cool,” said Powell. “One of the best things is to come out and play in the splash pad.” 

Zookeepers said they are closely watching the animals based on what environment they need to be in.

“Reptiles, since they’re so temperature sensitive and they can’t body regulate, a lot of our little tortoises have been pulled off exhibit this week,” said Corrie.

Some animals are hiding out under shade trees. “They all have access indoors and out. Just like we would be, some of them choose to stay in the shade or actually go indoors.”