Posted on 29th January 2019 by Media Relations
Whilst the summer heat continues to hover around the 40 degree mark, keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are doing everything they can to keep the animals a cool throughout the day.
Whilst most animals don’t seem to mind the heat, many take the opportunity to cool off whether that be with a swim, a hose down, a roll in a mud wallow or even a shower under an irrigation sprinkler.
Keepers also make ice blocks for many of the animals to help them cool off and provide enrichment in the warm weather. Carnivores like the Sumatran Tigers, African Wild Dogs and the African Lions receive bloodsicles which are ice blocks made with meat pieces, blood and water.
Other animals such as the Asian Elephants, Ring-tailed Lemurs and Siamang Apes prefer fruitsicles, which are ice blocks filled with various vegetables and sometimes, as a special treat, fruits. The elephants always make light work of their ice blocks, breaking them up by standing on them and devouring all the cold goodies inside.
The Asian Elephants can also be spotted on hot days swimming in their pools and mud wallows. The younger elephants are especially loving the water this summer! Elephants don’t have sweat glands like humans so they use the water and then dust bath to keep themselves cool. It is not uncommon to see young males Luk Chai and Pathi Harn enjoying a splash in the pool or a wallow in the mud.
Pet owners can also help keep their animals cool in the heat by making ice blocks. Simply freeze some meaty treats along with some water in a container and then your pet can enjoy a nice cool treat on really hot days.
Visitors to the Zoo can also avoid the hottest part of the day by taking advantage of the Zoo’s early opening hours as gates open at 8:30am across February and March. The Early Morning Walk is another great way to see the Zoo in the cooler hours of the day, commencing at 6.30am on weekends.