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Zoo And Shelter Animals Better At Bearing High Temperatures

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DAVIS (CBS13) – The heat isn’t just hard on the humans, but all kinds of animals are exposed to the triple digit temperatures, many without the luxury of going indoors.

Caregivers across the region are trying to keep their animals cool.

“You try to get your real work time done by noon time,” said Michelle Haseltine, Pine Trails Ranch.

At Pine Trails Ranch outside of Davis, the afternoon is rest time.

It’s just too hot for horses to do almost anything.

“If you exercise them because of their large muscle mass, the heat starts to build up in that muscle mass,” said Haseltine.

They only deal with horses, but at the Sacramento Zoo, curators take care of 140 species native to very different climates.

“A lot of our tropical animals are totally at home in the heat, and what we find uncomfortable is pretty natural for them,” said one zookeeper.

We found sleepy kangaroos outback in the shade. River otters slurping on shrimp flavored ice cubes and a bird, called a Frogmouth, singing in the shower.

But a panting red panda needed the zookeeper to put out an ice pack before he was able to get comfortable.

“For red pandas, who are usually found at high altitude in the Himalayas, they are just not designed for heat,” said the zookeeper.

Dogs at the Sacramento County Animal Shelter are only walked in the morning and night. The hot concrete hurts their paws, and the dogs who have outside access, know better than to venture into the heat.

“All the kennels here at the shelter are temperature regulated with an AC system in the summer time and a heater in the winter time,” said a shelter employee.

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