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Watch: Zoo animals share techniques to keep cool in heatwave

Moti, the 55 year old orangutang, cools down under a wet blanket
Moti, the 55 year old orangutang, cools down under a wet blanket Copyright Associated Press
Copyright Associated Press
By Sinead Barry with Reuters and AP
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To keep cool, some animals have taken matters into their own hands (or trunks). At these zoos in Austria and Germany, worm ice lollies are on the menu too.


As temperatures in Europe are expected to reach 43°C in some countries this week, zookeepers are anxious to keep their animals cool, and some are taking matters into their own hands – or trunks.

Elephants at Berlin Zoo were spotted hosing themselves down with cold water, while the zoo's meerkats, who are not so fond of water, were given worm ice lollies to help them keep cool.

The German Weather Service (Deutscher Wetterdienst) has said that they expect record temperatures and experts have warned the public to stay out of the sun and stay hydrated,

Shelter from the heat, however, may be harder to find for some than others. At the Vienna Zoo, one innovative orangutan named Mota soaked her blanket in cold water before taking refuge from the sun under it.

Water is the best way to keep the orangutans cool, says zookeeper Fredi Maier. "Here they get water buckets but also hoses with holes in them so the water sprays like a garden hose. And they're loving it."

Each of the apes has its own technique to cool off, he explains. "Vladimir is more like a destroyer who knocks over buckets, gets wet all over or tries to bite into the hose to get to the cool wetness.

"Sol is much more careful. She prefers to play with cups and buckets. She also likes to take a mouthful of water from the hose – that cools her down, too."

With the extreme heat expected to remain across Europe for the rest of the week, maybe humans will take some tips from the zoos' inhabitants.

Video editor • Nathalie Texier

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