Zoo News: When it’s officially summer at the zoo

Many consider Memorial Day to be the start to the summer season and that couldn’t be more accurate anywhere than it is in the zoo. Nighttime temperatures have finally reached the point where the primates can finally make the move back to their outdoor habitats. With this latest cold front, I was beginning to wonder if we’d ever get there. The Horticulture department has been planting beds, setting large pots, and placing hanging pots throughout the zoo that honestly sets the Roosevelt Zoo apart from many others. And the most telling sign of summer is watching construction projects rev up to get as much accomplished as possible before the window closes.

On Tuesday, the Zoo transitioned to our summer hours. It will still open at 9 a.m. but will not close until 8 p.m., every day of the week. The 9 a.m. opening has been very successful especially during the hotter parts of the summer months, so guests can get out and tour the zoo in the cool of the morning as opposed to the heat of the day. The early hours are also more conducive to seeing the animals when they are more active. Some that spend their nights inside enjoy getting out to stretch their legs and soak up the morning sun. Later in the day, many will slow down and save their energy and find a nice place to relax as they retreat from the afternoon sun.

Summer is upon us and with the moving of the primates to their outdoor spaces, all animals will be out for guests to enjoy. Although these late spring storms may delay the giraffes from moving outside, the sun quickly dries the habitat so they can be safely led out on exhibit. The giraffes have acclimated well to the construction next door and are back to greeting guests at the feeding station. Yes, as summer arrives, so too does a sense of normalcy for the zoo and its staff.

School is out for most, but that doesn’t mean the learning has to end. The zoo’s summer camp programs start on Monday, June 3, and will run through early August. There are still spaces available in some camps so if you are looking for something for your child to do, this might be an option. Contact the zoo to learn more about the camps and available spaces, and for information about all the happenings going on out here this summer including one of our most popular events Bacon & Brew on Aug. 8.

The beginning of summer is a glorious time, and we hope that you make the zoo a part of yours. It often seems like a fleeting moment where before you know it all the attention starts turning to fall. But for now, summer is here and the Roosevelt Park Zoo plans to embrace it and squeeze out every precious moment. There is plenty of time to worry about the future, but there is only now to enjoy the present. Join us in making every day ahead a memorable event as we embrace this summer for all it’s worth.


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