As the mercury rises DZG’s keepers are busy ensuring hundreds of exotic and endangered animals stay cool.
And with a 1,300-strong collection that means a hectic day-long schedule for staff across the 40-acre site. Drinking bowls and pools are topped up regularly using icy water from DZG’s well while certain species, including Asiatic black bear Inca, love to be doused directly! Brazilian tapirs, pygmy goats and reindeer currently undergoing their annual moult are slathered with sun cream to protect their skin and heat lamps are swopped for fans for some of our smaller animals in the Discovery Centre education block. Elsewhere on site keepers make up a variety of ice lollies for their charges, with plain blocks for birds and blood-flavoured popsicles for big cats while primates appreciate their icy treats made with their favourite five-a-day fresh fruits.
Assistant Curator, Richard Brown pictured right with blood lollies for our Sumatran tigers said: “We always adapt our work to weather conditions whatever time of year, but as the temperature rises it’s a constant requirement to make sure a wide variety of species stay cool, particularly when it’s as hot as it has been in the past few days.”