AS temperatures soar to well above 30 degrees, a Spanish zoo has decided to treat its animals to cooling ice creams.
But these frozen treats are not the same as the sugar-laden ice creams humans enjoy. Staff at Bioparc Fuengirola use vegetables and fruit, chopped meat, fish and insects, combined with juices to stimulate the senses of many of the species such as tigers, leopards, gorillas, hippos and meerkats that call the zoo home.
The conservation centre is home to more than 200 different species and the keepers are doing everything they can to make sure that all the animals stay hydrated and cool in the face of this incredibly hot weather.
While the big cats including tigers and leopards can lick at frozen blocks of ice water mixed with blood and pieces of meat, other animals have their own icy treats adapted to their own particular diet.
In the case of gorillas, chimpanzees, gibbons and lemurs, the kitchen prepares colorful sorbets of beet juice, spinach combined with pieces of other vegetables and fruit such as apples, carrots, tomatoes, bananas and watermelon.
And the popular meerkats get slushies of worms and grasshoppers to enjoy.
It is not the only way the animals are kept cool. As the thermometer rises it is common to see the tigers swimming among the fish in their enclosure, while hippos remain submerged.
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