Wild animals take after humans in beating the heat

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HALIFAX, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. -- The hazy, hot and humid days of August can be unbearable for some.

It could be even worse if you're wearing a fur coat.

There are many ways to keep cool outside, as well as stay hydrated, which gives us a lot in common with many of the animals at Lake Tobias Wildlife Park

Lake Tobias Wildlife Park general park curator Ern Tobias said "the bears and tigers, a lot of times are in the pools, sometimes even the baboons will lay down in the water."

Safari tour manager Ryan Klinger said "they're intelligent enough to find that cool breeze throughout the day, so they'll tend to move and find the coolest spot throughout the day."

Those summer routines sound familiar.

"Low areas of the pool, where it's just shallow, they sometimes sit in there like a little kid in a wading pool," Tobias said.

The soaring temps can take a toll on everyone, as well as our four-legged friends at Lake Tobias Wildlife Park.

"You put in a long day, when you're doing, six, seven, eight tours in a day. It gets to be pretty exhausting. By the end of the day, you're pretty well beat by the heat," Klinger said.

It could lead to a case of heat stroke for humans and animals alike.

"Know what the animals look like when they're acting normal, and when you start seeing some of them acting abnormal, not eating, not acting right, not moving much, those are the ones you have to worry about or call the vet and take a look at them and see," Tobias said.

There are precautions mammals of all sorts may take to find relief.

"The baboons and the primates, we have fruits and vegetables that we freeze in cups or buckets and throw them in. They pick them out, and the meat eaters, we throw meat treats, and same thing,frozen. It keeps them cool," Tobias said.

"They freeze water bottles for us, so when you take them out on the tour, they stay cool throughout the tour," Klinger said.

Some animals don't seem to mid the dog days of summer, and take it in stride.

"Eland are pretty well accustomed to the heat. They're from Africa, and they don't seem to mind it much here," Klinger said.

"Reminds them a lot of home, at least much more than the snow we get here in the winter. I don't think they see too much of that over in Africa," Klinger added.

Humans or animal bodies are the only things which suffer in the heat. The hot weather also takes its toll on attendance at Lake Tobias.

Fewer people tend to go out to the park, so those who brave the temps might not beat the heat, but probably will beat the crowds.

Anyone complaining about the heat may take comfort in knowing winter will be here in just a few months.