Cool for cats - PICTURE SPECIAL

Contributed by editor on Jul 19, 2006 - 07:08 PM


Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Hythe is keeping its big cats cool with their favourite flavour ice lollies.

Indian Tiger, Delhi licking his way through a Vampire Pop......Picture by Chris Hales

Tiger Keeper, Chris Hales came up with the idea of 'Vampire Pops'. They are made using blood from the horse carcasses that are fed out to the big cats on a regular basis, and is just frozen in a bucket to make a large ice block. This is then tipped out onto the floor of the enclosure and the tigers can lick, bite, crunch and push them around to their heart's content.

Enriching the animals lives is a big project at the parks as it is important to keep the animals entertained and stimulate their brains. The ice blocks provide the cats with something to play with and are also a way of keeping cool in the hot summer weather.

A less gruesome version is made for the African elephants using fresh fruits and fruit juice.

Malayan Tapirs.....Picture by Heather Down

The hoofstock keepers have also been using an equine sun block on their Malayan Tapirs.

Although they are used to the heat, coming from Malaysia, they are not used to the intense sunshine as they live in dense jungle where the sun rarely penetrates the canopy, and so they have very delicate skin that burns easily. Like most of us, they also enjoy a dip in the pool when it all gets a bit much.