Thursday 22 August 2019

Animals get inventive to keep cool during heatwave

Fish sorbet and water fountains have been helping to keep the animals cool during the hot weather.

A Western lowland gorilla holds on to her ice cream, prepared from fruits and vegetables, on a hot and sunny day at the Prague Zoo, Czech Republic (Petr David Josek/AP)
A Western lowland gorilla holds on to her ice cream, prepared from fruits and vegetables, on a hot and sunny day at the Prague Zoo, Czech Republic (Petr David Josek/AP)

By Megan Baynes, PA

Animals have been getting inventive to try and keep cool during the heatwave.

Sahara-style conditions have swept across Europe as a plume of hot air from Africa moves north across the Mediterranean.

Some schools in France have closed, while Germany — famous for not having a speed limit on motorways — has introduced temporary restrictions for drivers.

Lions and elephants at Blair Drummond Safari Park have been using water fountains to keep cool, while the chimps have been enjoying ice pops.

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A lioness cools down beside a sprinkler at Blair Drummond Safari Park as temperatures continue to rise across the UK (Andrew Milligan/PA)
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A chimpanzee cools down on a ice pop at Blair Drummond Safari Park (Andrew Milligan/PA)
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An elephant is hosed down at Chester Zoo (Peter Byrne/PA)
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Elephants play in the water at Chester Zoo (Peter Byrne/PA)

Gorillas and polar bears at Prague Zoo have been enjoying fish and fruit sorbet.

The zookeepers presented the animals with big blocks of frozen water with different ingredients to suit their tastes.

The gorillas have two blocks hanging from ropes in their outside enclosure with a mixture of fruits inside, including pieces of orange, apple, pear, kiwi, carrot, pineapple and mango.

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Western lowland gorilla Ajabu enjoys her ice cream at Prague Zoo (Petr David Josek/AP)

The eight Western lowland gorillas have a clear hierarchy when it comes to their treats. Richard, the dominant male, has one of the chunks of ice, while the remaining seven have to share the other one, patiently and slowly extracting the fruit.

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A polar bear enjoys an ice cream, prepared from fish, fruits and vegetables, on a hot and sunny day at Prague Zoo (Petr David Josek/AP)

The zoo’s three polar bears each have a block of fish and fruit sorbet however, unlike the gorillas, they don’t waste any time — consuming the treat in few minutes.

PA Media

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