ASHEBORO, NC - The North Carolina Zoo will offer visitors a respite from the recent heat wave that has sweltered the state on the weekend of August 7-8 when the park holds its annual "ZooCool" special events. Zoo forecasters are calling for a blast of cold air over the weekend thanks to special evaporative snow machines to be placed in the African entrance plaza.

Zoo patrons will also get a first-hand look at how the zoo helps its animals beat the heat as keepers present talks at various exhibits on how they keep the animals cool. Along with these "Meet The Keeper" programs some of the zoo's animals will be given ice treats throughout the day.

Location and times for the animal ice treats are: Polar Bears 11 a.m.; Puffins (Saturday only) 11:30 a.m.; Cougars 1 p.m.; Baboons 12 p.m.; Bald Eagle (Sunday only) 1:30 p.m.; Sonora Desert Animals 1:30 p.m.; Gorillas 1:30 p.m.; and Chimpanzees 2 p.m.

Radio Disney will be providing games and prizes on Saturday in the North America Plaza from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. More information and a detailed schedule of "ZooCool" activities are available on the zoo's Web site at

This year's seasonal event sponsor is Coca Cola. All events are free with regular paid admission of $10 for adults, $6 for children 2-12 and $8 for seniors 62-plus. Operating hours from April through October are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary; Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor.