CHEONGJU, Aug. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean zoos are struggling as sweltering summer heat continues to sweep across the country.
Only 20 people visited the Cheongju Zoo in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province on Aug. 21 due to the scorching heat. Animals were nowhere to be seen as they stayed indoors to avoid the sun.
When outdoor temperatures surpassed 34 degrees Celsius around 2 p.m., Kwon Hyeok-beom, a zookeeper at Cheongju Zoo, headed to the bear enclosure carrying chicken, sweet potatoes, apples, carrots and large ice cubes to help them overcome the heat.
“When it’s as hot as this, animals start to lose their appetite, and become less active,” Kwon said. “Here are some vegetables and meat to help them.”
In the summer, artificial ponds are refilled every day to help animals cool down.
Siberian tigers, known to live in cold regions, escape the heat by staying indoors.
Indoor temperatures stayed at 27 degrees Celsius as three large fans and regular water showers kept the temperature 7 degrees Celsius lower than outside.
In the enclosure for the Eurasian lynx, a massive ice cube was placed in the corner.
“Animals, like people, don’t like the summer heat,” said a zoo employee. “It almost makes us want to install air conditioners for the animals.”
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)