Zoo keepers have come up with some ingenious ideas to help prevent the animals from over-heating
While us Lancastrian humans are busy scrambling around for ways to stay cool during the heatwave by sheltering under the parasol in the garden, enjoying an ice cream or a dip in the sea, spare a thought for the animals over at Blackpool Zoo.
The animals need to rely on the Zoo keepers and staff to help keep them cool during hot weather, with temperatures set to rise to record levels in the UK over the weekend. From the largest residents in the 7,650lb Asian elephants to the tiny 5lb ring-tailed lemurs, keepers have needed to put their heads together and have in turn thought up some ingenuous methods to prevent them from overheating.
These include sea lions chewing on sprats on ice and lemurs eating citrus based frozen treats, while the elephants have been taking cold showers, basking in dust baths and swimming in an outdoor pool. While the sea lions, who can also be found baking in the sun’s rays by sunbathing at their purpose-built Active Ocean Arena have also been having fun while cooling-off, by playing with a block of frozen fish.
Blackpool Zoo recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and its oldest resident is Kate the Asian elephant, who is 53 and has lived at the site on the outskirts of the resort on the Fylde Coast since it opened. Extensive works are currently underway at the Big Cat enclosure to build a new house, while the zoo’s newest addition is Kawan the male Bornean orangutan.
Mike Woolham, Animal Manager at Blackpool Zoo, said: “We keep a close eye on the weather forecast so we can plan ahead for additional ways to help to keep the animals cool. The treats are all part of a healthy diet, just prepared differently, and are a great form of enrichment.
“With temperatures on the rise in the coming days our freezers will certainly be full!”
- 11:14, 17 JUL 2022