13 Aug, 2021 @ 16:26
1 min read

Ice lollies and frozen trout: How Spain’s zoo animals are keeping cool during heatwave

zoo animals heatwave
zoo animals heatwave

AS temperatures soar above 40ºC across Spain as a heatwave intensifies, zoos and wildlife parks are working hard to keep their animals cool.

That means frozen treats, cold showers and splashing about in pools.

Zoo animals across Spain are being served frozen lollies to lower their body temperature as Spain sizzles, made from ingredients adapted to suit their diet.

Herbivores are treated to ice pops made from fresh fruit and vegetables, juices and seeds and nuts.

Pandas seem to particularly partial to watermelon.

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One of Madrid’s panda’s nibbling on watermeon. Photo: Madrid zoo

While others, such as these otters in Madrid, are treated to some frozen fish.

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Otter enjoying some frozen trout. Photo: Madrid zoo

Meanwhile carnivores including the big cats are tempted by frozen raw meat.

In Valencia, the great apes entertained themselves catching frozen fruit and iced muesli bars dangling from trees in their enclosure.

Helados Para Los Animales De Bioparc Valencia Agosto 2021 16 Min
Photo: Valencia Bioparc

While hyenas and leopards used their powerful sense of smell to hunt down frozen blocks containing large chunks of raw meat.

The giraffe’s seemed delighted at multi-coloured popsicles specially crafted by their keepers to include frozen layers of crushed strawberries, celery, orange, chard and red cabbage.

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Photo: Valencia Bioparc

Elephants proved deft at combining both activities of slurping giant sorbets while simultaneously taking a dip.


At Madrid’s zoo, baby elephants took a long soak in the tub to cool off.

“During the intense heatwave, our keepers are working hard so that the animals in their charge can maintain maximum well-being,” explained the Valencia BioParc in a statement. 

“What the different species seem to enjoy the most are seeking out their favourite ice-creams and sorbets which are lovingly prepared using the favourite food of each animal.”

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Photo: Valencia Bioparc


Fiona Govan

Fiona Govan joined The Olive Press in March 2021. She moved to Spain in 2006 to be The Daily Telegraph’s Madrid correspondent and then worked for six years as Editor of The Local Spain. She lives in Madrid’s Malasaña district with her dog Rufus.

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