Rome zoo cools lions down with meat-flavoured lollies

Aug 23, 2012, 06:48 IST | Agencies

Giant meat-flavoured ice lollies for the tigers and lions and frozen fruit and watermelons for the monkeys: Rome's main zoo is resorting to some resourceful methods to battle the current heatwave.

With temperatures hitting nearly 40° Celsius in the Italian capital, zookeepers said in a statement on Tuesday that they were trying to help some of the 1,000 animals “confront the torrid heat.”

Thanda, thanda: A tiger licks on a red ice lolly in the Rome zoo. Pic/AFP Photo/Bioparco Di Roma 

Tigers and lions can be seen pawing at the giant lollies about the size of the carnivores’ heads, while monkeys are being given bamboo canes filled with yoghurt and frozen fruit as well as watermelons to cool themselves down.

“These tools are also a way of enriching their environment and allow the animals to sharpen their skills at finding food,” the zookeepers said.

Extra drinking water fountains were also set up inside some sections of the zoo to enable animals to drink and refresh themselves.

Rome’s zoo, one of the oldest in Europe, celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. Everyday, the animals consume about 50 bales of hay and grass, 500kg of green vegetables, and 300kg of fresh fruit, mainly melons and watermelons at this time of the year. 

Dietary requirements
50 The number of bales of hay required by the zoo personnel for the animals
500 kg The amount of green vegetables
300 kg The amount of fresh fruits

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