(NECN: Ally Donnelly) - As the mercury rises, people are getting creative to stay cool.
Inside the Tropical Forest at the Franklin Park Zoo it gets muggier by the minute. The concerns for the animals are pretty much what they are for the kids. said Head Keeper Erica Farrell, "We ask how hot the animals are, if they have enough shade, if they have enough fresh water." Jockamo the giant anteater. is getting plenty of water. He was being hosed down by zoo staff, creating a cooling mud bath.
At the lemur exhibit, Farrell doled out frosty popsicles. They were full of juice and fruit, but the frozen delight menu varies quite a bit around the zoo. "Some of the other ones for the animals that eat meat may be made with blood, or insects if the animal eats insects," Farrell said.
All over Massachusetts, Bay Staters are looking for ways to cool off. At Johnson Playground in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood, 2-year-old Julian takes a watermelon break before streaking through the splash park again. His mom said, "When it's so hot like this? It's perfect."
Ryan and Karen Sullivan hit the links early. By 10 a.m. it was already 80 degrees at the Charles River Country Club in Newton. Karen Sullivan smiled and exclaimed, "Beautiful summer day. Summer's here."
Not quite, but it sure feels like it at the Blue Ribbon BBQ food truck nearby where the smokers get up to 400 degrees. Said Chef Eric Haggerty of the heat, "Doesn't slow us down, nope. We're gonna keep on doin' it all summer."
The expected heat wave might not slow them down, but health officials do worry about the two most vulnerable populations -- babies and the elderly. 96-year-old Filomena Pasquarelli is doing her best. "I think it's really hot." She said. "I'm beginning to feel it, really."
Trash hauler Dave Tucker has been feeling it for hours. "It's been horrible, but as long as people give us water and you stay hydrated, you're all set." Do people leave him water, we ask. "Most people will," Tucker said. "You give me a bottle of water on a day like today, I'll put your water wherever you want -- on your roof, if you want."
Clifford Green is hard at work too, plucking bottles and cans from Boston trash cans for about $50 a day -- tax free he reminds us. "The heat don't bother me. No," he insists. "I'm from Georgia."
Ah, but if the heat did bother him, young Charlie Liebenberg of Wellesley knows what to do. "Just have lots of water and -- you should probably be fine."