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When it's cool for cats

Date

Ella Fisher

A tiger has a dip in the water during at 35 degree day. Click for more photos

Animals cool off

Animals at the Canberra National Zoo and Aquarium cooling down during a 35 degree day. Photo: Colleen Petch

Trying to keep cool while wearing a thick fur coat in 35 degree heat is hard work.

Luckily staff at the Canberra Zoo and Aquarium have had years of practice keeping our furry neighbours cool during summer.

Wildlife supervisor Bec Scott said the animals had many ways to cool off during Canberra's first summer weekend.

Eland are spoilt for choice with frozen rockmelon and fruit and vegetable iceblocks that they crush with their foreheads to eat, black-capped capuchins use rocks to break up the ice to find fruit and the brown bears and tigers splash around their ponds.

''But the iceblocks don't just cool them down; it is a great source of fluids and an enrichment tool,'' Ms Scott said.

The snow leopard is the least at home in the summer months but the enclosure has dense foliage and a stream to keep it cool.

''Most of the animals have lived in Canberra for many years so they have acclimatised to the weather,'' Ms Scott said.

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