Animals beat the heat at Drusillas

Rabbit lolly at Drusillas SUS-150107-093919001
Rabbit lolly at Drusillas SUS-150107-093919001

As temperatures look set to top 30 degrees in some parts of the south this week, Keepers at Drusillas Park, East Sussex have been trying to keep their animals cool in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways including creating carrot shaped lollipops for the zoo’s resident rabbits.

Just like humans, animals can be affected by the heat so the team have been keeping a close eye on the group to ensure the hot spell doesn’t send them hopping mad.

The carrot coolers were invented by zoo apprentice Eva Hoad using a combination of frozen oranges and green beans.

Eva said, “Our rabbits and guinea pigs love oranges and it’s a great source of Vitamin C for them.

“I thought while the weather was so great they may enjoy an ice lolly and of course they had to be carrot shaped as we all know what a rabbit’s favourite thing is.”

Elsewhere in the park, Robbie the porcupine received his own layered lolly made up of carrots, grapes, parsley, kiwi and pomegranate seeds and the penguins had giant ice blocks of frozen fish added to their pool.

Some of the zoo’s other critters received frozen feasts too including the racoons, otters and primates.

Head keeper Mark Kenward said, “Animals do not perspire the same way as humans do, so we use the blocks to keep them comfortable in the heat.

“Ultimately, they are after the fruit rewards hidden within but their mouths and paws are also cooled during the process.

“The ice blocks also have the added benefit of forming part of our daily enrichment programme too. This encourages the animals to think and work a little harder for their food as they would in the wild.”

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