How does Dublin Zoo cool the elephants in a heatwave?

Abigail Irwin (9) spends day in Irish Times as part of Una’s Dream Ticket show on RTÉ 2

 Abigail Irwin (9) from Navan at The Irish Times news conference with reporter Ronan McGreevy. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Abigail Irwin (9) from Navan at The Irish Times news conference with reporter Ronan McGreevy. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

How do animals cope at Dublin Zoo when the weather gets hot?

Yesterday I interviewed Brendan Walsh who is the elephant keeper at Dublin Zoo. With the hot weather at the moment I asked Brendan how they protect the elephants.

He said that as the elephants are from India they are used to the hot weather so they are quite relaxed in the warm heat that we get during the summer. On days when it does get warm they have the option of cooling down, they get plenty of shade, cool showers with their big water cannons and they have two big pools to keep themselves hydrated.

Not all animals are from hot countries and some feel the heat more. All animals are equipped to deal with different ranges of temperatures. For example, the Amur tigers from Russia need shade, deep pools and to go for a swim. They also get ice-blocks which are put into their meat.

Sunburn

There are currently three pregnant elephants at the zoo. Dina (30), Yasmin (23) Anak (10), all of which are due to have their babies very soon. The zookeepers make sure they are nice and comfortable.

By nature elephants are very strong animals so each day they make sure that the elephants have plenty of comfort and plenty of relaxation especially at nighttime. Yasmin will be first to give birth in a couple of weeks.

The zookeepers are very excited because the new arrival will be the first elephant conceived and born in Dublin Zoo.

l Una’s Dream Ticket programme to be broadcast on RTÉ 2 this year.