Keeping the Naked Mole Rats Warm -- Sustainably

Apr 8, 2011 9:26 AM ET

Xcel Energy Blog

Talk about creative accounting for a good cause. The Pueblo (Colorado) Zoo leveraged grants from the Renewable Energy Trust and used them as matching funds for a series of other grants. Thanks to their creative funding, they were able to install a solar array on their hay barn and a geothermal heating and cooling system at their “Islands of Life” exhibit building.

The zoo’s Naked Mole Rats, which look a lot like overcooked hotdogs, are cold-blooded, so their environment needs to be kept at a constant temperature. In the wild, Naked Mole Rats – which are neither moles nor rats – live in large colonies underground where they have the benefit of natural geothermal heating and cooling, so the zoo’s system is ideal for them. More than 20 other species – many of which are also cold-blooded – live in the zoo’s Islands of Life building. Continue reading about the Renewable Energy Trust…


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