Cool off with elephants at Audubon Zoo

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) -- The dogs days of summer are upon us, and if you don't want to waste a sunny day indoors next to your air conditioning unit, the zoo has options to keep you cool.

The general rule of thumb at the zoo is if it's too hot for humans, it's too hot for the animals. The zookeepers cool off our animal counterparts with frozen treats and kiddie pools filled with ice.

Zazu, a salmon crusted or malakan cockatoo, enjoys misty showers provided by her keeper Sarah. She also stays cool with frozen fruits and peanuts. "She comes from the tropical rain forest, but even so, we have to keep her cool a couple different ways here. In the forest she would be able to choose the most shady spot, but in here she doesn't get entire forest to choose from, so we help her out a little bit by giving her a little artificial rain shower," said Sarah Peterson, education coordinator at Audubon.

Humans can cool off in the many water features at the zoo. Swim side by side the elephants in a pool next to theirs, or take a ride down alligator run, the city's only lazy river.

The zoo also has misters frequently placed throughout that helps keep you cool as you explore the wilderness, and a few of their exhibits, such as the reptile house, are air conditioned.

"This is a pretty awesome experience and very unique for a zoo, so not only do our animals have an opportunity to cool off but so do the people," remarked the zoo's education director, Brenda Walkenhorse.

Refreshments for humans are buy one get one half off now until October 2nd. Doors open at 10 AM.