LIMESTONE, Tenn. (WJHL) – After Bright’s Zoo closed on Wednesday due to heat, park officials spoke with News Channel 11 about how the animals are adapting to the weather.
With animals seeking shelter from the heat and being placed indoors, zoo officials say that the customer experience just isn’t the same.
“We got certain animals that’s going to take a while to adapt to this crazy amount of heat we’ve had. So we start pushing animals inside,” said Zoo Director David Bright. “Like yesterday, it was about 1:30 and we were like, ‘Okay it’s too hot for giraffes so we are going to push all the giraffes in.’”
All primates will be able to choose if they would rather be inside or outside, but large hoof stock such as giraffes will be put indoors.
The extreme heat early in the summer is the primary cause for concern, but that concern will lessen as the animals adapt according to zoo officials.
“In a month, it’s not going to matter quite as much. They’ll have adapted to it. But where we’ve been so cool and comfortable for so long, that major change happening all at once, is it’s just a little too much for them,” Bright said.
Officials say giraffes are the lucky ones, as their barn averages a comfortable 70 degrees and their water is chilled and refilled automatically.
For guests’ comfort, the zoo has misting systems and tree-lined walking paths.