31/07/2020

Hot weather, cool animals at the Zoo!

Our keepers have been preparing cold treats to help keep the animals cool as the temperatures rise this week.

The inquisitive macaque monkeys, agouti, warty pigs and parrots were all given frozen ice ‘lollies’ filled with tasty vegetables or mealworms to help them cool off, while the seals enjoyed a treat of frozen fish in ice blocks to play with in the pool.

We have an extensive enrichment programme for its animals throughout the year and often provides additional enrichment treats during the hotter weather. Nigel Simpson, Head of Animal Collections, explains: “Giving fruit 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 is also an added benefit of providing a cool food source during these warmer periods of the summer.”


Visitors to Gorilla Island can often see silverback gorilla, Jock, and his family troop snoozing in the sun, while the nearby lemurs and meerkats like to sunbathe sitting on their hind legs, with the lemurs splaying their arms out to catch the sun.

Other animals, such as the fur seals and giant tortoises, keep cool by wallowing or swimming in their pools, while the gorillas have a stream to splash about in, and all the animals have shady spots around their enclosures, with indoor access out of the sun.

We re-opened recently after weeks of behind-the-scenes work to implement a host of new health and safety measures across the site including a timed ticketing system, one-way routes and extra hand washing facilities, to ensure the safety of visitors, staff and volunteers.

Visitors are now asked to purchase tickets online in advance of their visit and members asked to pre-book tickets in advance too.

Bristol Zoological Society, which operates Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project, is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public to fund its conservation and research projects, both in the UK and across the world.

In March 2020, Bristol Zoological Society launched an appeal to ensure the future of its work ‘saving wildlife together’. The Society, which is a registered charity, launched the BZS Appeal following the temporary closure of both its sites in Bristol in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

To find out more about the appeal, or to make a donation, visit bristolzoo.org.uk/bzsappeal.

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