This week Rockhampton reached its hottest February day in decades, and while for many it meant staying out of the sun and staying in the air-conditioning, for Rockhampton Zoo it meant getting creative to keep the animals cool.
From ice blocks to bubble baths, Zoo staff found ways to counter the heatwave and ensure the animals were kept comfortable in the extreme conditions.
Councillor for Sports, Parks and Public Spaces, Cherie Rutherford, said that Monday was especially challenging but that staff rose to the occasion.
“Being in Rockhampton, our Zoo staff are certainly no strangers to hot summers and making sure our animals stay safe during times like these,” Cr Rutherford said.
“Earlier this week was particularly difficult though, with temperatures reaching over 40 degrees.
“The Zoo team took extra steps to protect the animals and some of these initiatives included running sprinklers and misting systems for the animals, providing waterholes to cool off in, and giving out frozen treats.
“The waterholes proved a hit for our emus, especially for Ash – the youngest emu at the Zoo – who gets very excited whenever there is water to play in.
“Our dingoes were the same, and had fun splashing about in the lagoon on their walk.
“The macaques and otters both enjoyed some ice blocks.
“For our chimpanzee family – it was a special bath filled with bubbles. While they all enjoyed it, Capri in particular spent hours playing with the bubbles and splashing around.”
Cr Rutherford said other animals took advantage of their specially designed enclosures.
“Our meerkat mob dug out some tunnels and holes in the sand to find a cool and shady spot to relax in.
“The perenties enjoyed the ponds in their new enclosure, which was opened earlier this month.”
Rockhampton Zoo is open between 10am and 4pm each day and entry is free.
The Zoo is owned and operated by Rockhampton Regional Council.
Images and videos of the animals enjoying their cool treats can be found here: https://rockhamptonregion.sharefile.com/d-s511319a288884db990b886bf6587cae8