As the summer heat continues to climb, Zoo Miami was privileged to collaborate with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) Engine 37 to help provide a special treat for “Ongard,” affectionately called, “Ardy,” an 11 year old male Asian elephant. The MDFR team was able to bring in their vehicle adjacent to the elephant habitat and connect to a fire hydrant on zoo grounds so that they could use the truck’s fire house to bath Ardy in a wonderful cooling shower as hundreds of guests looked on.
Though this is the first time that Ardy has been exposed to such an experience and he was initially apprehensive, he slowly gained his confidence and was soon enjoying the refreshing shower. Not only did he seem to enjoy the cool massaging water on his thick skin, he will also benefit from the mud wallows created by the large quantities of water propelled by the fire truck onto his habitat which he will almost surely utilize to coat himself with in a further effort to protect himself from the sun and biting insects.
This experience is just one of many activities coordinated by zoo staff as part of a carefully managed enrichment program. These programs are developed to mentally and physically stimulate the animals living at the zoo which is important in maintaining their overall health.
Article and more details from Zoo Miami here: https://www.zoomiami.org/media-news