We two-legged creatures aren't the only ones in H-Town in need of a break from the summer inferno. The four-legged variety, which inhabit the Houston Zoo, can be just as miserable in the heat and humidity as the rest of us.
Ice pops and daily baths to the rescue.
Zoo officials call it "icy animal enrichment" in which cooling programs are designed to give the most sensitive-to-the-heat inhabitants a little cooling refreshment. There are ice pops for the bears and daily baths for the elephants — all part of TXU Energy's "Chill Out at the Houston Zoo."
Bears are gifted with ice pops at 9:15 every Thursday and Saturday morning while the elephants receive a cooling shower of water every day at 10 a.m. in the elephant barn. Monday through Friday, in the Children's Zoo Contact Yard, there is icy enrichment for the goats.
For those who haven't yet seen the gorilla habitat, the new residents receive ice pops daily a 3 p.m. You can view their refreshing delight from the gorilla boardwalk. And so it continues with ice pops at 12:30 daily for the chimpanzees, ice pops and chilly enrichment for the sea lions at 1:45 Friday through Sunday, ice pops for the orangutans every Wednesday at 3 p.m. and sprinklers for the birds daily at 2:15 p.m.
And now for the rest of us mammals, the zoo offers 14 indoor chill zones including the KIPP Aquarium, the gift shop and the Shani Market in the African Forest.
For the summer season, the Houston Zoo is open until 8:30 p.m. And "Cool Nights" programming will run every Friday evening from June 26 through August 21, when guests can bring family and friends to enjoy the animals, music and kid-friendly activities, all of which are included in zoo admission.