Trainers keep dolphins safe in 119 degree heat

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Dolphinaris keeps the water at 75 degrees for the dolphins. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Dolphinaris keeps the water at 75 degrees for the dolphins. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Dolphins have a dorsal fin to help them thermo-regulate. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Dolphins have a dorsal fin to help them thermo-regulate. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Each of the five pools has areas of shade. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Each of the five pools has areas of shade. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
NEAR SCOTTSDALE (3TV/CBS 5) -

Dolphins are smart, funny, beautiful mammals but how do dolphins deal with our desert heat?

"This animal actually has a dorsal fin to help them thermo-regulate," said Ashley Acridge, senior marine mammal behaviorist at Dolphinaris.

[READ MORE: Crazy heat! Summer starts with a bang as Phoenix temps reach 119]

They thermo-regulate based on the temperatures of the water, not the air.

"So even though they are in hot temperatures outside, that water is kept at a perfect 75 degrees so it's nice and chill," said Acridge.

[Related: APS sets record with Monday's consumed energy]

The one million gallon salt water tank's life support system has coolers in it to keep the temperature at that constant 75. And each of the five pools has areas of shade.

"Also, we have generators so if the electricity were to go out at any point it would never affect our systems. Animals would still be well protected," said Acridge.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Extreme Heat]

There's another thing the trainers do to keep the dolphins comfortable.

"Is to not have the animals face towards the sun so they can avoid the annoyance of sunlight as well so we put their backs to the sun as much as possible," said Acridge.

And if the Valley has a dust storm or thunderstorm, the back of the aquarium can be enclosed.

“We can bring the dolphins into the pool, close the gates and that entire wall comes together to close and keep the animals safe,” said Acridge. 

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Ashlee DeMartinoAshlee DeMartino is excited to finally be back in her hometown of Phoenix.

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Ashlee DeMartino
Weekend Weather Anchor

An award-winning journalist, Ashlee has worn many hats in her career, one-woman-band, executive producer, anchor, reporter and morning traffic reporter. However, her main focus and passion is weather.

As a Weather Anchor Ashlee has seen the power and destruction of mother-nature up close and personal, reporting on ravaging wildfires, devastating floods, 100 car pile ups in the fog and the rare snow and ice storm on the Las Vegas Strip.

Ashlee graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and is currently enrolled at Mississippi State University in the Geosciences program finishing her degree in Meteorology.

Fun Facts About Ashlee

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