Denmark’s zoo animals head for the shade in summer heat

Animals from mountainous regions are noticeably feeling the effects of the current warm temperatures, zoos say.

Denmark’s zoo animals head for the shade in summer heat
A file photo of a red panda at Copenhagen Zoo. Photo: JAKOB DALL/Ritzau Scanpix

Red pandas and yaks are among those having a hard time in the heat.

“We have a Tibetan Yak and a little red panda among our animals that live in mountainous regions. They are the animals most affected by the heat,” Richard Østerballe, director at Givskud Zoo near Vejle, said.

Odense Zoo also said its red pandas were finding the warm weather an uphill struggle.

“They are completely inactive. They are laying in the shade up in the trees, where there is breeze. We have some large trees for them to climb in,” director Nina Collatz Christensen said.

But zoo animals are well-equipped to cope with both high and low temperatures, including by making use of trees and pools in zoos, so they are not considered to be at any health risk from the heat.

Visitors should expect reduced activity from some of the animals in the zoos, however.

“They animals are taking it easily. There’s no reason to run around and sweat in these temperatures,” Østerballe said.

Bengt Holst, zoologist and scientific director at Copenhagen Zoo, said that animals would most likely stay in the shade between 12pm and 2pm.

“That’s when it’s so warm that most of them will probably go into the shade, like we see in the African Savannah,” Holst said.

“But there will always be some animals that are active. Particularly those that have young, because the young don’t pay much attention to the heat,” he added.

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