With so many different animals here at Paradise Wildlife Park, we need to make sure we keep every animal nice and cool in the summer heat. This week, the UK is experiencing a heatwave with temperatures reaching up to 25 degrees. Although this is a welcomed change from the very cold and gloomy May weather, we need to make sure our animals are comfortable in this changing weather.
Many of our animal species are used to extreme and fluctuating weather. For example, Bactrian Camels are found in Mongolia and the temperatures can drop to -50 degrees Celsius and raise to 50 degrees Celsius in the daytime. Our camels love nothing more than to be dowsed down with the cold water from the hoses. Keepers also groom the camels in the hope to take off their winter coat and make them feel more comfortable in the warmer climate. Camels are not the only animal at Paradise that enjoy a nice soak. Over at Birds at Paradise, the keepers use the hose to create a fine mist for the birds to walk and fly through to cool off.
2. Refrigerated slate and tiles
Our keepers also refrigerate slabs of slate and tiles so that our animals have a place to lay down where it is cooler than the rest of their habitat.
3. Ice baths
Some keepers even make an ice bath for their animals. The otters have been seen on our social media enjoying ice baths! They love rolling around on the ice cubes and hunting for treats hidden in the lower levels of the bath.
4. Ice pops – really!
Ice pops are also used as cold snacks for our animals! Although they may not be flavours you might want to try. Our big cats, for example, absolutely love blood ice pops! Keepers freeze leftover blood from the meat they feed to the cats for when the cats like to cool down.
5. Pool parties
Our Amur tiger sisters Aleena and Siberia are able to cool down in their habitat by taking a dip in their very own pool! Aleena and Siberia are often seen crouching in the shallows of their pool when they get too hot in the sun.
Not only are all these techniques good ways to keep the animals cool and comfortable, it also is a great source of enrichment. Encouraging play and hunting behaviours, as well as enriching their senses with a new and exciting object in their habitat, is so beneficial for their mental stimulation.
Make sure to come and visit us this summer and see our animals enjoy the sunny weather. We are also hosting a after-hours event this summer: ‘Summer Evenings’. You can enjoy our World of Animals and World of Dinosaurs during the warm summer evenings, as well as performances from local music artists and more! You can check out the event here!