Visitor & Tickets
Animals & Exhibits
Learning Adventures
Large fish make up 90 percent of this pelican’s diet. read more >

ZooKeepers’ Journals < back


Hot Summer Days

The zookeepers at Sedgwick County Zoo have been working very hard to make sure that our animals stay healthy and comfortable during the Kansas heat.

In the South America walk-through, guests can easily spot some of the methods we use to keep our animals cool. Most of the mammal exhibits have pools that are filled with fresh water daily. The Bairds Tapirs love to spend the hot afternoons taking a refreshing swim in their moat. Other animals are supplied with misters. Mick the Jaguar enjoys sleeping directly underneath his mister as the temperature rises.

Sometimes, we have to get creative in our efforts to keep our animals comfortable. The Squirrel Monkeys get frozen bottles of water placed in their shelter so that they can snuggle up and cool down. Just like kids, the Andean Bears love popcicles. Howerver, you won't find any added sugar in our special ice treats - we use chunks of fruit and juice to keep them healthy.

The most important rule for beating the heat is to keep well hydrated. This applies to both people and animals! So bring your water bottles and come "chill out" with some cool mammals in the South American Walkthrough!

Entry by: Erin, Zookeeper


They don't stay little very long


Born October 27,2008, baby Beaker was up and about sniffing out the world around him at about 6 months of age. Giant anteaters have an excellent sense of smell, estimated to be forty times that of a human. When he’s not snuggling with his mother, Beaker can be seen using his sharp claws (which could reach up to four inches by adulthood) to dig fresh holes in the dirt and to pick at the bark on trees and stumps. He and his mother Ibini share their exhibit with the world’s smallest deer, the pudu. We have a male and female pudu who are currently working on additions to their family too.

After a gestation of about 180 days, giant anteaters give birth standing on their hind legs, using their large tail to prop them up. Normally with one offspring at a time, babies are born fully coated, almost identical to the adult. During much of the first year of life the young anteater will ride on its mother’s back. Offspring will tag along with mom for up to two years and then go off to live an almost solitary life. A giant anteater’s average lifespan in the wild is fifteen years while in captivity it is close to twenty-five years.

Entry by: Amanda, Zookeeper

Hours of Operation
Summer Hours8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(Beginning March 1)
Winter Hours10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(Beginning November 1)
Open 364 Days a Year!*
*The Zoo will be closed one day only, September 6, 2014 to facilitate the preparation of the annual Zoo fundraiser, Zoobilee. For Zoobilee ticket information please call 266-8APE (8273).