Heatwave hits Barcelona Zoo as animals given “ice cream” to beat the heat. It is not only humans who are feeling the heat at the moment in Spain as temperatures soar to over 40 degrees Celsius during what is the first official heatwave of the summer.
Animals living at the Barcelona zoo are also feeling the heat. The zoo is home to 300 different species and keepers are doing their utmost to make sure that their charges are kept hydrated and cool during the shockingly hot weather. Keepers have taken to giving the animals frozen fruit yoghurts in the form of ice cream and popsicles.
The frozen yoghurts are extremely popular with the lowland gorillas. “It’s not the main meal, it’s an enrichment that we give them in the form of frozen yoghurt or fruit popsicles with water and honey,” says Francisco Esteban, the primate manager.
“To avoid conflict, we first have to give the ice cream to the dominant male, Xebo, until he has had enough. Then he doesn’t mind us giving them to the others,” said Esteban, as reported El Pais.
The keepers hand out the treats by throwing them over security fences to the gorillas. Xebo gets his first followed by dominant female Marena. Ngumbi, Akiba and Nbini finally get their turn and receive their treats too.
The gorillas are definitely feeling the heat during the heatwave. “It’s so hot that, look, the gorillas don’t really like to get wet, and these days they are,” said Esteban. The chimpanzees also love their frozen treats too.
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