Phoenix Zoo gets creative keeping its critters cool

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The hot Arizona summer isn't just hard on humans: the animals over at the Phoenix Zoo are also feeling the heat. 

Zookeepers there say many of the exotic animals aren't used to the area's extreme temperatures and staff need to take extra measures to keep the animals from becoming heat-stressed. 

"They got ice treats," said primate keeper Debbie Eastman, who delivered some snacks to a group of monkeys.

"Some of them had Crystal Light with grapes, and then others had some frozen yogurt in them too." 

There were treats for all takers at the zoo. The tigers were delivered "blood-sicles," while the orangutans got frozen sports drink. 

"In the summer the main thing we need to do is watch for any heat exhaustion, any exhaustion that they might have, any lethargy," Eastman said. "Keep 'em cool." 

Which means sometimes a hose will do the trick. Workers sprayed down Sheena the elephant with cool water. 

Meanwhile, visitors to the zoo say they like knowing the animals are well taken care of. 

"I'm happy that they're in a place where they can have so much freedom, and where they're treated with such respect and kindness," said zoo visitor Dee Avery Rietfeld. 

It's a warm relationship between human and animal as the Phoenix Zoo keeps its critters cool during the hot summer months.   

"This is a dream job for me," Eastman said. "I love every moment of it. I truly love the animals and I just want to take care of them." 

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