Chill out with the animals at zoo’s Winter in July - East Valley Tribune: Events

Chill out with the animals at zoo’s Winter in July

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Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 3:00 pm | Updated: 10:49 pm, Mon Jul 22, 2013.

It’s safe to say I never realized just how cool Phoenix Zoo’s Winter in July is until I got a peek at the zoo’s kitchen for animals. That’s where dedicated “chefs” craft frozen treats for zoo creatures with care, a sense of humor, and some pretty grisly animal parts.

Fish heads and fuzzy white rabbits are among the “surprises” encased in “blood-sicles” made for carnivores. Scads of fresh fruit, donated by Fry’s Food Stores, go to other animals, including elephants, who get the biggest popsicles I’ve ever seen.

Zookeepers pass out the time-consuming and refreshing desserts each Winter in July, along with 35 tons of snow distributed among the enclosures. Together, they make for some pretty cute animal antics to watch and photograph. Cheetahs, meerkats and orangutans, it turns out, are just as giddy over a break from the heat as we are.

Visitors to the zoo that day also get some relief, thanks to 20 tons of snow reserved for snowman building and snowball target practice. The Leapin’ Lagoon and Yakulla Caverns water play areas are also open.

Details >> 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 20. Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway. $20 per adult, $10 per child ages 3-12, free for kids 2 and younger and zoo members. (602) 273-1341 or

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