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  • Deborah Kade

Winter in July at the Phoenix Zoo

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

What do you do on a Saturday morning when the temperature is already 100 degrees at 9 AM? Well, I went to the Phoenix Zoo’s “Winter in July” event. Children and animals could "chill out" in nearly 50 tons of snow. The animals also enjoyed special frozen treats.


Not only was it a fun event for children and adults but it was a morning of enrichment for the animals. The snow and special frozen treats provided the animals with "mental and physical stimulation to increase natural and healthy behavior. In other words; adding a little creativity, fun and stimulation to our animals’ lives!"


A small sampling of the animals loving "Winter in July"!!!!


The orangutan exhibit was a popular location as the viewing area was cooled by fans.





It was also a popular location for Fox News and AZ Family to report live from.



The orangutan was very smart!! It knew it had to hit the ice block against something to break it into smaller pieces. When hitting the block of ice on the ground to break it up did not work, the orangutan hit it against the rocks. The children were so excited to be so close.



As usual, Reba, the elephant, drew the largest crowd. The Phoenix Fire Department brings a fire truck to hose Reba down. She recognizes the truck and she knows she in for a treat. Children also have an opportunity to sit in the fire truck and learn about fire and water safety.


Reba played with the snow for a few minutes.



Reba trumpeted with joy!!!!


It was time to dance.








Looks like she is smiling!


Reba made sure all of her was hosed down. She didn't want any spot missed so she turned around and around.


She just loved the spray on her back.






The giraffes were more interested in the hay than the frozen treat.

This giraffe kicked the block and then stared at the broken piece for a few minutes.


Then, they came in for a sniff.


Did a quick lick of the block.


No, the hay was tastier.







Another stop was Monkey Village which is an open exhibit where squirrel monkeys scamper through bushes and trees just inches away. As the only walk-through squirrel monkey exhibit in the United States, this is a must-see on your visit!











The otter found a comfortable spot and did not want to move.


The tiger was more interested in licking the ice with blood than posing for a picture.


This pelican caught something in the lake to eat.


The zebras liked their hay more than the ice block.





Flamingos usually stand on one leg while the other is tucked beneath their bodies. The reason for this behavior is not fully understood. One theory is that standing on one leg allows the birds to conserve more body heat, given that they spend a significant amount of time wading in cold water. However, the behavior also takes place in warm water and is also observed in birds that do not typically stand in water. An alternative theory is that standing on one leg reduces the energy expenditure for producing muscular effort to stand and balance on one leg. A study on cadavers showed that the one-legged pose could be held without any muscle activity, while living flamingos demonstrate substantially less body sway in a one-legged posture. As well as standing in the water, flamingos may stamp their webbed feet in the mud to stir up food from the bottom.






Flamingos are quite comical to watch!


Enjoyed the treats from the sponsors.


The power crunch bar was tasty.


Live music and games with DJ Rob.


One of four water and play areas


The children had so much fun playing in the snow!!!!!!


It still had to be cold sitting in the snow. But... she had her mittens on to keep her hands warm.


Snowballs or tiny snowmen?


For some children, this was the first time they had ever played in snow.



This young boy was interviewed live on Fox News. Very exciting!!!


Phoenix is very fortunate to have such a wonderful zoo that hosts so many different events throughout the year.


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