Zoo Neuwied tells: What do animals do during summer thunderstorms?

Message from 07/03/2022

Early in the morning, the sun rises from a bright blue sky and the temperature is already 25 degrees. This is how a typical summer day can be described. However, such a day often takes a different turn due to summer thunderstorms. The Neuwied Zoo has now reported on how animals in particular deal with this change in weather.

There are animals that are happy with any kind of cooling, but others prefer to retreat and wait for the storm to pass. (Photos: Zoo Neuwied)

Noevid / area. About 80 kangaroos bask in their meadow on the sunny slope of the largest zoo in the Rhineland-Palatinate. “It’s hard to believe thunderstorms will happen later in the day,” says Mirko Tell, examining the sky, “but it’s been reported. We’ll take it as it comes.” The director of the Neuwied Zoo is very satisfied. “We have no other choice,” he says, shrugging his shoulders, adding, “The plants, including our planting barns and old trees in the woodland area, delight in a summer rain. And some animals are also grateful for the humid refreshments from above.”

Some like thunderstorms in the summer, others go away
“For the red panda, the Siberian tiger, the neck, for example, temperatures above 30 degrees are very difficult. These animals come from the mountainous regions of Asia and are perfectly adapted to the low winter temperatures. In the summers of Central Europe, which are getting hotter and hotter They sweat even in their shaded packs.” Fortunately, Tiger Ivo doesn’t have to wait for the rain to cool off: he loves to swim in his own pool, which makes him one of the few cats that likes to go in the water. The devasa bird also likes to cool off in the water.

“These hoofed animals are in their element when a trench forms at the lower edge of the African meadow after a heavy rain,” says the zoo’s director. Low tapirs also love warm summer baths, “so much so that we spray them with a hose now and then when it’s time for a normal bath.”

The lion cat Schroeder did not think of such a thing: “The bitter fellow hides under the roof as soon as it starts raining. I suppose he is worried about his neat hairstyle,” laughs Mirko Tell, referring to the mane of the Barbary lion, which admittedly is really cool. Other residents of the zoo can also do without rain, especially those who rarely get it in their natural habitat: “Meerkats and ostriches are adaptable to drought and heat and have really enjoyed the past few days and weeks. However, showers are not a problem for them. Like All animals, they can retreat to their burrows or homes at any time.

Security risks in a storm
What if rain showers are associated with storms and thunderstorms? “During a storm, we bring chimpanzees and big cats into their indoor enclosures, where they can pose a safety hazard in their outdoor enclosures if trees fall down. For this reason, the forest at the top of the zoo is also closed to visitors and staff only enter it in urgent cases,” he explains. Zoo manager.

Fortunately, no further action is required: “Even during the last violent thunderstorm with massive hailstones, we got down lightly, save for some minor damage to roofs and vehicles. We sit outside a little summer storm, with our animals. After all, usually The rain quickly follows the sun’s shining again, which means: the best weather in the zoo!”


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