Phoenix Zoo animals have unique colorful pictures taken

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Wow, what a morning. Today I had the privilege of witnessing a very colorful way to view our animals, LITERALLY! Go IR, Thermal Imaging Company was kind enough to drive all the way from Tucson on their weekend off, and donate their time to take some amazing pictures of our animals using thermal imaging.

Before I go any further I just want to point out that I am not a vet or a keeper, just a public relations guru, and so I apologize if my explanation is not as scientific as you might find from someone who has more insight, but thought you may find it interesting to read from my perspective!

According to Wikipedia (yes, sorry guys I had to resort to the Internet) infrared imaging is a type of infrared imaging science where thermography cameras detect radiation in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum and produce images of that radiation, called thermograms.

Since infrared radiation is emitted by all objects based on their temperatures, according to the black body radiation law thermography makes it possible to "see" one's environment with or without visible illumination.

Thermal imaging helps our veterinary staff as well as our zoo keepers detect areas where injuries or inflammation occurs that we may not pick up with the naked eye. Injuries, inflammation, or even pressure points, like standing on your feet will produce heat, and the thermal imaging detects the levels of heat by color. The blues, greens and purples reflecting lower temperatures and the yellows, oranges, reds and white reflecting higher temperatures.

Today the thermographer took a look at all three of our elephants, as well as our hornbill. They checked out their legs and feet, their tails and ears, and even on their backs.

It was a great way to confirm the areas of suspicion, and the areas that they thought may have been an issue, but turned out not to be.

This project would have cost the zoo thousands of dollars and we are very grateful for them to have come out to take these pictures. We hope to continue to use their donated time for future energy audits!

The Phoenix Zoo is located at 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. Rain or shine, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Day (Dec. 25). Regular-season hours (Sept. 1-May 31) are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Summer hours (June 1-Aug. 31) are 7 a.m.-1 p.m. during the week and 7 a.m.-4 p.m. on the weekends Admission is $14 for adults, $6 for children and $9 for seniors. For more information, call 602-273-1341 or visit .