As temperatures soared around the state, the animals at Adelaide Zoo beat the heat thanks to some refreshing and tasty enrichment from their keepers.
With the thermometer reaching 38c, cooling off the animals was a top priority for the keepers. Giant Pandas Fu Ni and Wang Wang made the most of their air-conditioned Day Rooms, while the Pelicans dined out on iceblocks and Tasmanian Devil Moonbeam tucked into a tasty miceblock.
Goats and Fallow Deer snacked on ice blocks filled with pellets. The zoo’s birds including Nankeen kestrel Digit and Black-headed Caique Zorro kept their feathers cool with a lovely bath.
“Keeping the animals cool is extremely important,” said Michelle Birkett, Assistant Curator of Nature Theatre and Birds.
“Enrichment can range from food puzzles to scent-based toys for the animals to explore and discover. Keepers and our volunteers get very inventive in creating ways to cool and enrich. We often put chopped-up fruits and veg into the ice blocks to help the animals cool off.
“Animal enrichment is an important part of animal welfare and includes cognitive and sensory activities to mentally stimulate and challenge species based on their natural behaviours and instinct.
“We encourage all pet owners to think about how their animals are keeping cool and what they can do to help them beat the heat,” finished Michelle.
As the hot weather continues, it is also important to make sure to look after pets at home and the native animals living in your garden.
Here are some tips for caring for animals big and small:
- Ensure they have plenty of water. It is also a good idea to put water out in different sized containers, this make sure native animals both big and small can also stay hydrated.
- Include some sticks and rocks in small containers it helps lizards and insects access a drink safely.
- A big container of water will give birds a chance to splash around and have a bath.
- Where possible, pets should be brought inside to stay cool. Make sure they have plenty of icy water available and a nice cool spot to sit.
For more information, please visit zoossa.com.au.