Bristol Zoo’s animals chill out with lollies and paddling pools as temperatures soar

Bristol Zoo Gardens’ keepers provided animals with cold treats as temperatures reached record highs over the weekend and topped 36° on Monday (18 July) – the hottest day ever recorded at the 186-year-old attraction.

The squirrel monkeys, kea parrots and red pandas were all given frozen ice ‘lollies’ filled with tasty vegetables, leaves or mealworms, to help them cool off, while the seals enjoyed a treat of frozen fish in ice blocks to play with in their pool.

Our keepers often give our animals additional enrichment treats during the hotter weather as Nigel Simpson, Head of Animal Collections, explained: “Giving vegetables or fish with ice to our animals is a great way of providing enrichment for our animals as the frozen blocks are slow to thaw,” he said. “It also provides a cool food source during the heatwave we are currently experiencing.”

Three golden lion tamarins around a pool of water.

Despite the level four ‘national emergency’ weather warning currently being declared in Britain, many of the attraction’s animals were perfectly comfortable in the Bristol heat. Visitors to Gorilla Island could see the silverback gorilla, Jock, and his family troop snoozing in the sun, while the nearby lemurs and meerkats sunbathed sitting on their hind legs, and the lemurs splayed out their arms to catch the sun.

Other animals such as the fur seals and giant tortoises, kept cool by wallowing or swimming in their pools, while the gorillas had a stream to splash about in.

All animals at Bristol Zoo Gardens have shady spots around their exhibit, with indoor access out of the sun.

Visitors to Bristol Zoo Gardens were also advised to keep cool during their visits and to prepare for the scorching weather by wearing hats and applying suncream, by bringing plenty of water and staying out of direct sunlight for long periods of time.

Now’s your last chance to visit before the Zoo’s last day 03.09.22

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Now’s your last chance to visit before the Zoo’s last day 03.09.22