One of Atlanta's most popular attractions is being forced to adjust its schedule due to high heat indexes.
Zoo Atlanta was closed at a very early hour on Wednesday, and will close again at a later time on Thursday due to extremely high heat indexes. The zoo announced this on its website.
The grounds close at 2:20 p.m. On weekdays, the zoo closes at 5 pm.
According to Taylor Ward, CNN Weather's Taylor Ward, temperatures in Atlanta were forecast to rise to 99 degrees Fahrenheit (or 37 degrees Celsius) on Wednesday. They also had a heat index of 100.
The zoo is home to a wide range of endangered species and one of few national zoos that has giant pandas.
Rachel Davis, director of communications at the zoo, said that all animals have temperature guidelines and can find accommodations for themselves when temperatures rise.
Davis said that some animals have climate-controlled indoor access, while others have shade and water features. Some animals, such as the gorillas can enjoy frozen fruit juice.
Davis stated that the Animal Care Teams at the Zoo "monitor all animal habitats and check them in multiple times throughout the day." No matter the hours or visitors, animal care and well-being remain our number one priority.
The cooling centers in Atlanta and Dekalb County offer relief for residents of the region.