West Midlands Safari Park animals keep cool with tasty treats during heatwave

As the region bakes in the middle of a July heatwave, keepers at West Midland Safari Park have been coming up with ways to keep their animals cool.

Bakari and Biana the ring-tailed lemurs enjoy an ice lolly treat for the hot weather
Bakari and Biana the ring-tailed lemurs enjoy an ice lolly treat for the hot weather

The lions and tigers at the Bewdley-based attraction have been taking dips in water pools to keep cool during the 30C temperatures.

Meanwhile other animals – including the Safari Park's giraffes, lemurs and meerkats – have been enjoying tasty frozen treats.

Keepers have been busy making handmade ice lollies, which are a mix of frozen water and some of the animal's favourite foods.

The simple treats help to cool the animals down – and also provide some fun enrichment during the long summer days.

Angela Potter, head of wildlife, said: “A huge part of our roles as keepers is providing the animals in our care with varied enrichment. This is very important, as it helps enhance the quality of their environment and care, as well as satisfying their behavioural and psychological needs. Different forms of enrichment involve food, sensory, social, cognitive and physical attributes.

“In particular, when we experience weather such as we have over the past week, enrichment activities are a vital way for us to ensure our animals are keeping cool and for us to support them regulating their temperatures.

“Whether it’s moving daily feeds nearer to water pools as we do with our carnivores, or making tasty ice lollies for our giraffes and smaller animals to enjoy; it’s not only a vital measure to keep our animals cool, but also a great source of fun for everyone to see our animals enjoying the summer sunshine.”

Cafu the ring-tailed lemur enjoys an ice lolly treat for the hot weather
Cafu the ring-tailed lemur enjoys an ice lolly treat for the hot weather with her keeper Jen Albutt
A giraffe enjoying a cooling lolly
One of the West Midland Safari Park's tigers cools down with a drink
The Safari Park's lions cool down

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for extreme heat for the West Midlands – which is in place until the end of today. High temperatures are expected both by day and by night, peaking Thursday before temperatures fall on Friday.

Today's temperatures are expected to reach 29C today, before dropping to 17C in the early hours of Friday.

Temperatures could reach 24C later in the day, before a cooler weekend is expected with highs of 20C on both Saturday and Sunday.

All the animals can be seen on the four-mile Safari drive-through, which is included as part of the standard admission charge of £25 for adults, £20 for children aged three to 15 years old and £22 for concessions. Children under the age of three are free of charge.

Admission includes a free return visit when booking online only. Adventure Theme Park rides are charged extra. All tickets must be booked in advance.

To book tickets, or for further information, visit wmsp.co.uk.

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