Bristol Zoo’s animals stay cool on the hottest day of the year

Our keepers have been helping animals stay cool in the hot weather this week.

They came up with a number of measures as temperatures soared for the fourth day in a row, with Wednesday hitting 30 C.

They created special ice lollies using some of the animals’ favourite vegetables including sweet potatoes and peppers. And they gave them extra flavour by mixing in fruit teas.

Then the keepers distributed them to a number of animals including the families of ring-tailed lemurs and squirrel monkeys.

Lynsey Bugg, Curator of Mammals said: “In the wild, these animals would find shade deep under the canopy of the rainforest.

“But here we need to give a little extra help and just like us they benefit from having an ice lolly on a hot day. 

“It helps them cool down and as they have to work to get to the vegetables inside, it enriches their day on that level too.”

Keepers also took steps to help the Zoo’s two red pandas as the temperature nudged close to 30 C on Monday and Tuesday.

They put down cooling mats in their enclosure to help counter the heat.

Lynsey said: “They really don’t like it this hot especially as they have fur on the underside of their paws to help them in freezing weather. So the mats really help them.”

But for some animals it is just another day. In the Reptile House, where the giant tortoises, lizards and snakes live, temperatures are always in the high 20s.

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