2007-08-15 / Features

As Temperatures Go Up, Zoo Animals Cool Down

Summer in the city may be a scorcher for some, but not for the animals at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Queens Zoo. With shade trees, misters and chill pools, the animals can keep their "zoo" cool.

Thanks to the zookeepers and staff who design and maintain exhibits to resemble the animals' natural habitats, zoo residents find their homes to be just right- no matter what the barometer says.

The trees over at the bison area, for example, resemble the American plains, where these large grazers hail from. In the wild, as well as here at the zoo, the bison enjoy lounging in the shade of trees when times get hot. Come winter, their thick wool coats keep them toasty.

Extreme weather doesn't challenge the zoo's sea lions, either. Their slick, blubbery bodies keep them warm when it's cold, and cool when it's warm- just like a wet suit! Plus, swimming laps in their large pool at the zoo helps the sea lions cool off in steamy weather.

Whatever the weather or time of year, the Queens Zoo animals are hanging out to welcome visitors at 53-51 111th St., in Flushing Meadows- Corona Park. The zoo is open 365 days a year. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekends, admission is $6, adults, $2.25, seniors, $2, children ages 3 to 12, and free for children under 3.

For general information about the Queens Zoo, or donations, call 718-271-1500, or visit.queenszoo.com.

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