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How animals at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo are adapting to heat

North American River Otters
Posted at 11:16 AM, Jul 09, 2020

On a blazing hot day like today, we're all trying to find different ways to keep cool, including the animals at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

That's where we spent part of the day catching up with the North American River Otters to learn how they stay cool when the mercury rises.

Commonly found across parts of the Pacific Northwest, Canada and the Atlantic states, these otters can grow as big as three to four feet in length. They have thick fur all over their bodies, which is perfect for swimming in cold water.

Zoo keeper Allison Rosing told News5 that although these mammals prefer the cold, they have ways at the zoo to help them cope with hot weather.

"They do enjoy their pool every once in awhile, but really their most favorite thing is laying in the shade and sleeping and not moving," said Rosing.

According to Rosing, otters eat less in the summer months as they tend to be less active in warmer temperatures. When it gets really hot, zoo keepers have to find creative ways to keep the otters entertained and comfortable.

During our visit to the zoo, they put ice with fishy treats into a kiddie pool for the otters to enjoy.

The Cheyenne Mountain is now open daily from 9 am to 6 pm. Online reservations are required, and must be booked in advance of your visit. For more information about the zoo and to purchase tickets online, visit