Animals Enjoy Frozen Treats to Help Them Cope With the Heat

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

As Thailand sizzles into high summer there's been some relief from the heat for the animals at Bangkok's zoo.

They've been tucking into ice cream, yoghurt and frozen vegetables to try to help them through temperatures that are edging close to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

Authorities at Bangkok's Dusit Zoo broke out the cold box for their charges on Tuesday.

Their chimpanzees Piek and Jim enjoyed their ice creams, acting like unruly children as their keeper flung the strawberry-flavoured treats into their enclosure.

Some of the Malayan sun bears had frozen drinks to suck on, while yoghurt was on the menu for the others.

Keepers are also regularly spraying the animals using the water sprinkler system throughout the summer months.

For the elephants there was a feast of frozen vegetables and fruit and barrels of water to cool them down.

The event brought in the media but according to zoo staff, there's more to it than just a publicity stunt.

The hot weather, they say, poses real risks to the health of many of the 1,400 animals in their care.

"If the weather is too hot, the animals are like humans; they can get heat stroke and die," said Pipat Pattanapan, one of the keepers at the zoo.

But not every animal was taken with the frozen treats.

The giraffes just looked bewildered at the block of ice that was dangled before them, and elegantly stalked away in search of shade.

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