A dog sprawled out in the grass, panting heavily, tongue out to the side, tennis ball between front paws - basking in the glory of a successful game of fetch. Three grizzly bear siblings tumbling and swatting playfully in a lush Alaskan meadow, ignorant (or defiant) of their mother's watchful eye.
And, of course, a tiger relishing the first experience of submerging in a cool, refreshing pool of water.
Recently I made my first visit to Safe Haven Rescue Zoo, a GFAS-verified wildlife sanctuary located in a very remote part of Nevada. Nestled in a high desert valley, guarded on all sides by towering mountain peaks, Safe Haven embodies an oasis.
While with ample peace and quiet, this sanctuary is subjected to extreme sun exposure and intense heat during a large portion of the year. Many sanctuaries, including Safe Haven, provide pools in the form of metal troughs, which is a wonderful and usually the most affordable option available.
However, Nevada's harsh sun poses a problem to this common practice. As someone who grew up in the desert, I can tell you that in the heat of a summer day, you slowly and delicately fasten your seatbelt because this is the time of year you avoid metal at all costs.