Express & Star

GALLERY: Animals have fun in the sun at West Midland Safari Park

As the country braced for a June heatwave, animals at West Midland Safari Park were making the most of the sun.

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Seto, an Indian rhinoceros cools down

Pictures from the Bewdley-based attraction showed Indian rhinos keeping cool by rolling in mud, while the African-originating zebras and giraffes spent their time lapping up rays as visitors poured into to the park.

Temperatures are set to climb into the mid-30s this week. The hottest day of the year could be recorded several times over as the mercury climbs towards 34 degrees in the south of the UK by Thursday.

Visitors flocked to West Midland Safari Park, which announced that it had sold out tickets for this week, to enjoy the sunshine from the safety of their cars.

Bosses believe the predicted hot weather may have helped boost sales.

Chris Kelly, managing director of West Midland Safari Park, said: “Usually when a period of nice weather is forecast, we look forward to welcoming more guests through our gates, to enjoy seeing the animals.

"As only our safari is open, it is essential that we can safely manage the number of guests visiting the Park each day.

"Therefore, we’re asking that all of our guests book tickets in advance online, with an arrival time slot.”

See today's forecast from The Met Office here:

The record for the hottest June day ever looks set to remain in tact, as temperatures will not quite reach the 35.6c seen in 1976.

Met Office forecaster Luke Miall said: "We've got high pressure to the South East of the UK over the next few days which is going to be drawing our air up from the continent", and the warmer climates of France and Spain.

"Thursday will probably be the hottest day in the region of 33 or 34 degrees.

"By Saturday most places will be seeing the fresher air coming across for the weekend, so although it might still be humid at times I think generally temperatures will be falling below heatwave."

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has also warned against starting campfires which can easily get out of control, and to call 999 immediately if you spot a fire.

People with elderly relatives should also make sure they are finding a way to keep cool during the lockdown, Age UK has warned.