Cool treats for summer heat: Frozen cake party at Hellabrunn Zoo
The current heat wave won't faze the animals at Hellabrunn. The zoo offers a number of ways to keep cool.
On the hottest day of the year, the zookeepers prepared a large frozen cake for the three polar bears. The icy treat was made with delicious fruit (melon and apples), carrots, mackerel and dates, crowned with a dollop of whipped cream! The refreshment was made more enjoyable by the decorations – a feast for the eyes. Giovanna, Nela and Nobby approached the frozen treat with curiosity and began licking on the cool delicacy. Other animals that previously received frozen surprise treats include the Siberian tigers Ahimsa and Jegor, and the brown bear Olga, but today it is the polar bears' turn.
Each species behaves differently on hot summer days: many switch to a slower pace and laze in the shade - just like us humans. Hellabrunn's rhinos and wood bison enjoy slipping their feet into the cool waters that surround their enclosure. The Asian elephants love nothing better than taking a relaxing dip in the pool when the temperature rises. They also enjoy their keepers cooling them down with the water hose. Other zoo residents such as the Siberian tiger are only active in the morning and prefer to spend the rest of the day dozing in the shade.
"Naturally it makes a difference whether the animal comes from the tropics or Antarctica. African and Asian animals have no problems with the heat. They clearly enjoy the hot days. Our meerkats, for example, particularly enjoy sunbathing," explains Zoo director Rasem Baban. "For the animals who prefer it not so hot, we offer plenty of refuges. For our polar animals, we ensure that their enclosure stays cool: for example, our king, gentoo and rockhopper penguins live at 0°C and thus always in the cold. The polar bears can cool off in the 12°C cold water pool, which is fed from groundwater wells. They can also find plenty of shade on their large enclosure."