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Adult chimpanzee enjoying a block of frozen peanuts

Responding to forecasts of a record-breaking 39 degree day in Sydney, Keepers at Taronga Zoo prepared early to care for their animals.

Special treats of fruit juices and peanuts were mixed yesterday and frozen to be ready for the 17-strong chimpanzee troop. Keepers had to make sure each of them got their own so everyone was happy.

Taronga’s three Small-clawed Otters can always drop in for a swim to cool down so as an added treat, keepers had made them fish-cicles with pilchards to enjoy and push around in the water.

The Koalas, with their dense fur, like to hunker down while having a sprinkler shower to beat the heat.

The Zoo’s General Manager of Life Sciences Simon Duffy said: “When we know of extreme conditions, our Keepers always prepare well in advance to provide specialist care for our animals. There are a range of cold treats on offer and many animals will have access to their cooler night dens during the day.”

“The animals at Taronga are lucky because they have teams of people caring for them throughout the day when the heat reaches its peak, but many pets at home don’t have that luxury.

“Make sure pets have access to plenty of water and shade, try freezing some of their food, like left-over scraps of meat and blood for dogs or if you’re home, make a game out of coaxing them into a shallow children’s pool or the sprinkler,” Mr Duffy said.

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