In the African Savannah, Memphis the Southern White Rhino cooled off in his new mud wallow, thanks to a load of clay provided by Midland Brick.
Not only does this provide enrichment for the gentle giant, but mud acts as an insect and fly repellent, and is also a sun screen which helps protect the skin from the harsh summer sun.
And with temperatures continuing to climb, you can follow suit and implement some of our zookeepers’ top tips to help your pets and local wildlife beat the heat.
Keepers incorporate varied and engaging enrichment programs into each of our animals’ daily lives. During hot weather, animals are given nutritious and refreshing icy treats to snack on, offered showers and misters, or have a refreshing bath to keep cool.
Not only does this hot weather enrichment keep them nice and cool, it also works to keep them mentally stimulated and challenged based on natural behaviours and instincts.
Easily the most important tip you can implement at home: have plenty of water and shade available for all animals, whether they are furry, scaly or feathery.
Staying hydrated during hot weather is key, so to look out for local wildlife it’s a good idea to leave various sized containers of water around your backyard so animals of all sizes can have a nice drink. If you can, add some sticks or small rocks to allow lizards and insects to climb in, drink and exit the water safely.
Birds will also enjoy splashing around in water and will love a nice big bath to cool down in. But as some birds can be shy, it’s best you avoid interacting directly with them and just enjoy the view from afar.
For pets, where possible they should be brought inside to avoid the harsh sun, or you could really follow a zookeeper’s suit and freeze some of their favourite treats into an icy block that tastes delicious and keeps them cool. A win-win!