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Adelaide Zoo keep animals cool through summer heat

Adelaide Zoo keep animals cool through summer heat
December 17, 2019

Adelaide Zoo’s animals are being offered cool treats throughout the week to help them keep cool during the forecasted extreme heat.

Keepers have delivered icy treats to animals including tapir, capybara, otters, hyena, meerkats, baboons and mandrills.

Adelaide Zoo keepers maintain a regular watch on the weather forecast, noting when a hot spell is approaching so that they can get the ice blocks in the freezer and get hoses ready for action.

Keeper Kat Moore advises “we often put chopped up fruits and vegetables into the ice blocks to help the animals cool off. This hot weather enrichment allows animals to stay cool while also being mentally stimulated and challenged, based on their natural behaviours and instincts.

“The meerkats enjoy scratching away at the ice blocks so they can get to veggies (including corn) inside.

“Our tapir were loving their cooling enrichment. Visitors were able to hear their teeth scraping on the ice. And, when they had enough ice, they took a plunge in their pool.”

Whether the weather is hot or not, the dedicated keepers incorporate varied and engaging enrichment programs into each of the animal’s daily routines.

While many of the animals choose to eat their icy treats from the ground, the otters enjoy paddling around in their pool with a large ice ball packed with treats.

Adelaide Zoo also recommends that pet owners think about their animals at home during the hot weather season.

Adelaide Zoo keeper Erin Turrell noted that while every animal handles the heat differently, having water and shade available was a top priority.

Turrell added “leaving water out in different sized containers is a great way to make sure native animals both big and small can stay hydrated.

“If you can include some sticks and rocks in small containers it helps little lizards and insects access a drink safely.

“Birds love splashing about in water and will really appreciate a nice big container to have a bath in.

“For pets, where possible they should be brought inside to stay cool and make sure they have plenty of icy water available and a nice cool spot to sit.”

Pets at home need the same considerations as zoo animals when it comes to nutrition, environment, behaviour and health.

Zoos SA’s Animal Welfare Tool for pets lets users assess the welfare of their animals in their own home, and includes helpful tips and advice for ensuring their pet is leading a happy and healthy life.

Image of otter with cool treat courtesy of Adelaide Zoo

Related Articles

13th December 2019 - New Sydney Zoo opens with committment to support wildlife conservation and education

8th December 2019 - Melbourne Zoo innovation leads to giraffe medical breakthrough

24th November 2019 - Giant Pandas to remain at Adelaide Zoo for another five years

9th November 2019 - Adelaide Zoo secures South Australian Major Tourism Attraction of the Year award

30th September 2019 - Adelaide Zoo launches new Variety Children’s Zoo

18th September 2019 - New report highlights the increased threat of climate change on Australian wildlife

11th August 2019 - Adelaide Zoo now home to two pig-nosed turtles

22nd May 2019 - Jane Goodall visits Adelaide Zoo and shares her thoughts on climate change

1st May 2019 - Adelaide Zoo otter breeding program continues to be successful

9th April 2019 - Adelaide Zoo to keep pandas Wang Wang and Fu Ni

22nd January 2019 - Melbourne Zoo builds hydro gym for reptiles

16th October 2017 - Sustainable water use and climate change to feature at 2017 Botanic Gardens Congress in Adelaide

10th February 2017 - Australia Zoo’s animals beat the heat

9th January 2013 - Animals beat the heat at Australian Reptile Park

3rd February 2011 - Taronga Zoo Animals Beat the Heat

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