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Taronga Zoo Animals Beat the Heat

Taronga Zoo Animals Beat the Heat
February 3, 2011

With record high summer temperatures having descended on NSW, keepers at Sydney's Taronga Zoo are using cold baths and frozen food blocks to keep the animals cool and hydrated.

This week the Zoo's African lions have been given ice blocks of a milk for breakfast, the Oriental small-clawed Otter family have made the most of their river system and squabble over specially created 'fish-icles' and the majestic Brazilian Tapir has been recieving a cooling shower froms dedicated keepers. Bethyl, one of zoo's oldest Kodiak Bears, escaped the heat in her specially built pool, while other animals like koalas and birds were given access to leafy and shaded areas.

These activities are part of the Zoo's animal enrichment program and with the mercuary rising have been designed to keep the animals comfortably cool.

Taronga Zoo's Life Science Manager Simon Duffy explains "curiosity is important for any creature and we continually present different things to our animals like new food items, or puzzles from which they have to retrieve their food.

"The frozen fish, fruit or favourite food item helps keep them nice and hydrated but is also something a little out of the ordinary and gets our animals thinking about the best way to eat it."

Temperatures have been topping 35 degrees in Sydney throughout most of this week.

The Zoo's animals will keep getting their treats until the weather cools.

Image: One of Taronga Zoo's chimpanzees with a cool treat.  

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