ST. LOUIS – This week’s temperature surge has it feeling more like July than September, but preparations for fall events must go on. It was a quieter day at the zoo thanks to the heat, but workers were still quite busy getting ready for Halloween fun. The animals were doing whatever they can to keep cool.

As temperatures soared into the 90s Tuesday, Kali the polar bear needed a little motivation to come outside.

“The keepers will scoop up the ice and put it in piles across the yard. He loves to enjoy that,” said Steve Bircher, the curator of carnivores at the Saint Louis Zoo.

He said many animals in the zoo’s collection are well adapted to extreme temperatures. However, the staff know how to keep them safe.

“When it gets really hot, they’re all different, but we’ll open up the doors to the animal care centers, so the animals can go inside to a cooler, air-conditioned building,” Bircher said. “The same in the wintertime, when it’s really cold, we give them access to those building.”

Kali also enjoyed a frosty dip in the pool, to the delight of zoo-goers.

“He has chilled pools he can go in, which are also about 60 to 65 degrees. Little cooler than what we keep our pools at home,” Bircher said.

As summer made its last blast, zoo workers were sweating it out, putting up lots of fall decorations. The Saint Louis Zoo offers three special events in October: Zootoberfest, Boo at the Zoo, and Halloweekends, and to be ready they have to work in advance.

“We’re almost at fall. We expect it to start getting cooler,” Bircher said. “Now, let’s wait a day or two because this is how St. Louis is. It’s very hot. Then tomorrow or the next day it will be quite a bit cooler.”