Buffalo's Residents (and Bears) Deal with Heat

July 15, 2013 Updated Jul 15, 2013 at 8:01 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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July 15, 2013 Updated Jul 15, 2013 at 8:01 PM EDT


The normally crowded runner and biker loop at Delaware Park was all but empty Monday afternoon as Mother Nature continues to bake Western New York with temperatures soaring and hovering right around 90 degrees.

"I live in Florida and I didn't think Buffalo was this hot," visitor Ava Murray said.

There were the few dedicated walkers and bikers who runners braved the humidity and heat to get in a Monday workout.

When asked if the heat would beat his willpower, Leon Mitchell answered, "Look I'm 62 years old, there's no way back. Almost 63, I love it, I enjoy it and that's why I'm here."

Matt Veronica and a friend decided today was a good day for some shirtless soccer.

"The sun's beating on you pretty hard, not going to lie, but it's not anything that's going to stop us from coming out, having some fun, getting some exercise," Veronica said.

And across the street at the Buffalo Zoo, two of the newest Buffalo residents are adjusting to summer life, and it's not their usual climate.

With polar in their names, Luna and Kali the polar bears had to deal with weather that was more tropical than usual.

"They can withstand temperatures higher than most people think, but it is pretty hot. I mean, it's pretty hot for everybody," zookeeper Caitlyn Bruce said.

So zookeepers give the bears their fair share of ice cubes and pool time, and access to a little air conditioning.

"Normally we'll keep them locked outside when the temperature is fine, if it's super hot like this we'll give them access so if they want to go into the fanned area they can go in there and escape the heat for a little while," Bruce added.

The advice for both bears and humans on days like this are remarkably similar: stay hydrated, keep an eye on warning signs of heat related illness, and find whatever way you can to stay cool.