Measures for guaranteeing the well-being of Barcelona Zoo’s animals in the face of the heatBarcelona Zoo is applying special measures to mitigate the effects of rising temperatures on its animals. Such actions are being increased in the face of episodes of intense heat and complement the routine daily assistance all the species receive from their personal zookeepers. Examples of these measures include extra topping up of the water troughs, free access for the animals to their facilities’ shelters animals and the inclusion of ice cream in the diet of some species.
Thanks to the plants on its grounds, the average temperatures recorded in Barcelona Zoo are some three degrees lower than in the rest of the city. Even so, whenever temperatures rise, a special protocol is activated.
First and foremost, the animals are guaranteed access to their facilities’ shelters or interior areas whenever they wish. Other priorities include ensuring the animals are properly hydrated, by extra drinking troughs and more frequent topping up with water. The zoo’s bathing areas that have several species in their facilities receive extra cleaning and topping up with water, as do the zoo’s mires, which play an important role in the thermal regulation of animals such as warthogs, rhinoceroses and elephants.
In other cases, such as those of the elephants, bison and buffalo, the facilities are refreshed with water hoses or, occasionally, sprinklers, in the case of red pandas. By contrast, fans may be installed in rooms for felines and bears.
Food adaptation is another measure for mitigating the effects of the heat, hence the inclusion of fruit and broth or fruit-juice ice creams for the primates, blocks of ice with fruit for the giraffes and iced worm drinks for the mongooses and meerkats.
The Zoo, committed to sustainability and water conservation
These actions are being carried out, despite the current drought, because, given its own idiosyncrasies, the Zoo is exempt from some of the municipal drought-alert protocol’s water-saving measures. In spite of this exemption, several measures have been launched for ensuring 200 cubic metres of water are saved every day, a quantity practically equivalent to daily water consumption of 1,800 of Barcelona’s residents: restricted watering of lawns and meadows, closure of the ornamental fountains, real-time monitoring of water consumption and closure of one of the zoo’s two big water supplies.