A Greek zoo serves up frozen meals to animals to help them beat the heat

by Joshua Brown
fokus keyword Greek zoo

In an effort to help animals withstand the heat, a zoo in Greece has started providing them with frozen meals.

When first presented with his icy breakfast, Tiembe, a 15-year-old Angolan lion, appeared unsure. Encased in a foot-long ice block were chunks of red meat and bone. Nevertheless, he ultimately licked the ice and began to nibble the meat free.

The animals at Attica Zoological Park, located just outside of Athens, were treated to these frozen meals on Friday as the country’s temperatures soared to 40 C (107.5 F), signaling the onset of the fourth heatwave in less than a month.

These intense temperatures, coupled with wildfires, are becoming an increasingly grave issue for the biodiversity in southern Europe, and their impact on Greek wildlife is noticeable.

On the island of Rhodes, a fire raged for 11 continuous days, forcing 20,000 people, mostly tourists, to evacuate. The animals on the island weren’t so lucky. In the destruction, an estimated 2,500 animals and beehives, as well as 50,000 olive trees, were incinerated. Dead fallow deer, a symbol of Rhodes, were discovered on the roadsides.

The zoo, situated 30 kilometers (20 miles) to the east of Athens, has taken in an injured deer and several turtles—some of which have been fitted with wheels from toys to aid in their movement—that were burned and otherwise injured during the Rhodes fire.

Zoo curator Antonis Balas emphasized the importance of being aware of the needs of pets during extreme heat. He remarked that many popular pet breeds come from the cooler climates of Northern and Central Europe, and thus, suffer in the heat.

Heat affects animals much like it does humans, he explained, while feeding ring-tailed lemurs fruit popsicles. They licked the ice, breathing in the cool air—a contrast to human sweating to regulate body temperature.

In July, Greece was struck by ten significant wildfires, including major ones outside Athens. More than 450 pet dogs and cats were saved from the fires, with about half now reunited with their owners. The rest have been temporarily adopted.

In response to the Greek fires, international animal charity PETA urged pet owners not to abandon their animals, and also highlighted the connection between animal farming and climate change. Elisa Allen, the group’s vice president for programs, pointed out that the animal agriculture industry is a significant global contributor to climate change, exacerbating conditions that allow wildfires to spread.

Temperatures in central parts of Greece are anticipated to reach 42 C (107.6 F) on Saturday before subsiding somewhat early the following week.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword Greek zoo

What is the Greek zoo doing to help animals beat the heat?

The Attica Zoological Park in Greece is serving frozen meals to animals to help them cope with extreme heat. This includes ice-encased meat for carnivores and fruit popsicles for other animals.

How have the wildfires in Greece affected wildlife?

The wildfires have had a devastating impact on wildlife, particularly on the island of Rhodes. An estimated 2,500 animals and beehives were burned, along with 50,000 olive trees. Some animals in the zoo have been injured by the fires as well.

What has the international animal charity PETA said about the fires?

PETA has urged animal owners not to abandon their pets during the fires and emphasized that the animal farming industry is a major global contributor to climate change, which in turn fuels conditions that allow wildfires to spread.

How are temperatures expected to change in Greece in the near future?

Temperatures in central parts of Greece are expected to reach 42 C (107.6 F) on Saturday before easing early the following week.

What has the zoo done for animals injured in the Rhodes fire?

The zoo is looking after an injured deer and several turtles that suffered burns and other injuries during the Rhodes fire. Some turtles have been fitted with wheels from toys to help with their mobility.

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Lisa_Marie August 6, 2023 - 2:43 am

its amazing what the zoo is doing for the animals, those frozen treats sound interesting, Hope it helps them.

Sara B August 6, 2023 - 7:57 am

Love what the curator said about how heat affects animals like humans. We often forget that. Keep up the good work zoo!

Kevin99 August 6, 2023 - 1:41 pm

those poor animals on Rhodes, why wasn’t more done to save them,? Climate change is real and we are seeing the effects.

James T August 6, 2023 - 2:41 pm

Can’t beleive what’s happening with the fires, terrible for the animals, People need to take care of our planet better!

Tom_R August 6, 2023 - 4:37 pm

40 C is just unbearable, i can’t imagine what the animals must be feeling. The frozen meals are a smart idea!


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