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Here Comes the Sun!

Here Comes the Sun! Zookeepers Combat the Heatwave at Drusillas Park

As Britain embraces yet another scorching day and prepares for highs of 28 degrees Celsius over the weekend, Zookeepers at Drusillas Park, East Sussex, have been going to great lengths to keep their animals cool.

With temperatures still hovering around 23 degrees and above, today is another hot and humid day for the UK. Whilst we humans are busy topping up our suntan and grabbing a seat in the beer garden, the animals at Drusillas have been searching for shade and trying to cool off.

Zookeepers have been pulling out all the stops to protect their animals from the sun. Just like humans, animals can be affected by the heat, so along with ensuring they all have plenty of water and shelter from the sun, the zoo team are also dreaming up fresh ideas to keep everyone comfortable.

Many of the roasting residents have received food layered lollies created from some of their favourite fayre.

This morning these cooling concoctions were served up to the cheeky scamps of Squirrel Monkey Island. Their icy offerings were packed full of fresh vegetables and herbs and the troop wasted no time in tucking into the refreshing ice pops.

Head Keeper, Sophie Leadbitter, commented: “Animals do not perspire in the same way as humans do, so we use the ice blocks to keep them comfortable in the heat. Ultimately, they are after the rewards hidden within, but their mouths and paws are also cooled during the process.”

Down in the raccoon enclosure, Drusillas’ raccoons have been receiving some extra pampering. The lucky little troublemakers were treated to a brand-new paddling pool in their enclosure and they have been quick to dive in and cool off.

Zoo Animal Manager, Mark Kenward, commented: “We are keeping a close eye on all of our animals to make sure they are alright in the lovely warm weather. If you have a pet, the best thing you can do for them is to keep them cool! Lots of water, lots of shade and of course if it’s too hot for you to touch the pavement – it’s too hot to take an animal for a walk.”

The giant lollies not only keep the animals cool, they also form part of their daily enrichment programme, encouraging them to work a little harder for their food as they would in the wild. The animals have fun trying to lick through the layers and the ice has the added bonus of keeping them cool.

Elsewhere in the zoo, the Madagascan lemurs have been loving the heat and can be seen lazing around with their legs and arms outstretched to make the most of the rays. Oli and Diego the giant anteaters have also been enjoying the sun and are having great fun alternating between dips in the pool and strolling through the sprinklers.

Find out more about where lemurs and squirrel monkeys live and the layers of the rainforest!
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