Mild fall temperatures mean more active animals at the zoo


INDIANAPOLIS – As temperatures get cooler, animals become more active, and, as Carla Knapp, Public Relations Specialist at the Indianapolis Zoo, said, “animals love cooler temperatures and tend to be more active”. But, why? 

Holly Balok, a senior keeper at the Indianapolis Zoo, said that some animals are not built for the extremes that we experience here in Indiana and the U.S. Balok highlighted red pandas and other forest animals specifically saying, “they’re from the southern portions of China eastern Himalayas, where it can get warm, but not to the extremes that we see here, so they prefer it a little bit cooler, even if it’s snowing a little bit. They’re built for that. They’re just built for colder weather, so this kind of weather is so much more comfortable for them.  

We have seen above-average temperatures, how are animals reacting? 

Balok says they adapt to their surroundings. If it gets too warm outside, animals will find ways to stay cool, whether that means going in the shade or eating a cool treat. 

Animal behaviors change in different ways. If it is too warm they won’t eat whereas if temperatures drop and are cooler, they will tend to eat more in preparation for winter.  

The Indianapolis Zoo tries to find ways to keep animals cool, especially when temperatures are warmer longer into the fall season. They will add more water, cool treats, even sometimes ice if they can. 

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