As the hot weather set in across the state today, Adelaide Zoo’s keepers were busy keeping the animals cool and refreshed.
Keepers prepared icy treats, cool baths and provided plenty of fresh water to help the furry, feathered and scaly animals beat the heat.
Icy enrichment was on the menu for the meerkats and Asian Small-clawed Otters. Tasty treats were frozen inside large ice blocks which encourages the animals to express natural behaviours, like scratching, to get to the food.
Adelaide Zoo’s Birds Keeper, Mal Norman, said the two Cassowaries Martina and Jeffery opted to keep cool in the pool today.
“Although Cassowaries are built for hot weather in Far North Queensland, they enjoy the chance to cool off in the water.
“We have kept the pools nice and full for the heat today and it’s been a great experience for visitors watching these huge birds enjoy a dip like they would in a rainforest habitat,” said Mal.
In the cockatoo aviary, the Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos spent the day under the water misters.
“Our feathered friends don’t have sweat glands so it’s important to give them an opportunity to refresh under the mister, and seeing them stretching out their wings under the water tells us they’re enjoying it!” he said.
Enrichment is just one way keepers provide tip top care to the animals across both Zoos SA sites. Pools, misters or ice blocks not only keep the animals comfortable but also contributes to making every day different for the animals, promoting positive mental stimulation.
It wasn’t just the animals keeping cool, as hundreds of visitors flocked to escape the heat amongst the zoo’s shady oasis.
“Our beautiful gardens mean most of our paths are nice and shady and it was great to see so many families making the most of the zoo’s cool microclimate with icy pole in hand.”
Those keen to enjoy the balmy summer nights can explore the zoo by dusk at Zoo Nights tonight and Friday 19 January.
“Listening to the sounds as the animals get ready for bed is a really amazing experience, there’s something magical about the zoo by night!” finished Mal.