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Austria zookeepers get creative amid heatwave

Scorching temperatures in Austria are leading zookeepers in Vienna to think up inventive ways to keep their animals cool. At Schoenbrunn Zoo, animals are given more freedom than usual, so they can seek shelter whenever they see fit. (SOUNDBITE) (German) BIOLOGIST SIMONE HADERTHAUER, SAYING: "Animals know exactly what's good for them and what's not. In the heat of noon, they stay in the shade and move little. They get active in the early morning hours or in the evenings, which is really clever. And which is what we (humans) would also do if we had that choice!" At meal-time, these tapirs are fed in the pond to cool down. Others, such as the keas, are served "ice bombs". (SOUNDBITE) (German) BIOLOGIST SIMONE HADERTHAUER, SAYING: "Keas are parrots from New Zealand who are used to a cool climate, they like it cool and foggy. So when it's hot, they retreat into the shade, and we offer them a cold 'ice bomb'. It consists of various treats in a bowl of frozen water which they have to dig out, and this is how they chill." Austria has been wallowing in a powerful heat wave since last week, with temperatures up to 37 degrees Celsius. The hot spell was preceded by a 30-year record high number of hot days in June, according to Austria's national weather service. Travis Brecher, Reuters

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