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Zoo animals enjoying cooler air

Will and Lancy Frye have fun feeding Rainbow Lories and Lorikeets at the Riverbanks Zoo, Friday. Animals at the Riverbanks Zoo have been enjoying the drop in temperatures lately, after suffering through a long, especially hot summer.
Will and Lancy Frye have fun feeding Rainbow Lories and Lorikeets at the Riverbanks Zoo, Friday. Animals at the Riverbanks Zoo have been enjoying the drop in temperatures lately, after suffering through a long, especially hot summer.

COLUMBIA -- After suffering with the rest of us through a long, especially hot summer, the warm-blooded animals at Riverbanks Zoo rejoiced in their own way the past couple of weeks with the coming of cooler weather.

Here are some zoo creatures who especially enjoy the change, according to assistant mammal curator Sue Pfaff:

Lemurs: "They go out on their island and put their arms out, and it looks like they're worshipping the sun, just like they do in their natural habitat in Madagascar. When it's 105, they aren't out there doing that. They just want to be in the shade."

Ponies: "They're working animals, out there giving rides. They're not sweating as much now, and the flies aren't as bad, so they don't have to spend as much time swishing their tails."

Elephants: "When it's hot they get filthy dirty. They roll in the mud to cool themselves with a mud mask. When it cools off, they don't have to do that to stay cool."

Large mammals: "The grizzly bears are more visible, staying in the front of the exhibit (in the sun). .f.f. Lions and tigers are actually out sunning themselves. .f.f. The gorillas aren't hiding in the shade of their lush vegetation."

Humans: "The keepers and visitors enjoy the cool weather as much as the animals. .f.f. The keepers are so much happier. You're not sweating through your clothes by 8:30."

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