Animals at Chattanooga Zoo being monitored closely due to temper - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Animals at Chattanooga Zoo being monitored closely due to temperature

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - With the heat index reaching nearly 100 this weekend, outdoor animals at the Chattanooga Zoo are being closely monitored.

People who decided to stay indoors today weren't alone, many animals opted for some cool air conditioning too at the Chattanooga zoo at Warner Park. 

"It was 96 degrees at one point with a 100 degree heat index. The heat index has been bad these last few days from what I noticed," said Stacey Laberdee, Zoo Curator.  

The heat index almost reached 100 degrees Saturday morning and afternoon causing staff to check in on 800 animals. 300 of that total are frogs that live at the Chattanooga zoo at Warner Park

"This kind heat would be extremely dangerous for them if they were left out in it," said Laberdee

All day long, rounds were made to make sure a large portion of animals were sprayed down and fed refreshing treats.  

"We toss fruit and veggies in their pond so they will cool off and we give them blocks of ice and access to a den with air," said Laberdee

According to Zoo Curator Stacey Laberdee about a dozen habitats needed to be closely monitored when the heat index starting rising up past 80 degrees.  

"All of the animals have temp guidelines on what we feel would be safe for them to be in this weather. If they need to be inside or given limited access outdoors," said Laberdee.

On the top of the priority list when the heat kicks in are the Red Pandas.  

They're use to cooler temperatures in mountainous regions of Asia, China and Nepal 

One of many reasons why the weekend weather for these animals and many others at the zoo could be deadly if they were left outside all day.

"We do allow them to come outside if they wish they have a climate controlled room," said Laberdee.

And the humidity and heat will remain for the rest of the weekend, so make sure you're taking proper precautions with any outdoor animals.
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