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A quick dip is cool for cats

Tigers at Australia Zoo enjoy a dip in the pool in front of an enthusiastic crowd yesterday.
Tigers at Australia Zoo enjoy a dip in the pool in front of an enthusiastic crowd yesterday. Australia Zoo

COOLING off in the pool is not just for humans.

The Sumatran tigers at Australia Zoo have been battling the heat with regular swims this summer.

Tiger handler Giles Clark said they enjoyed swimming and lounging about in the shallow parts of the pool during the heat of the day.

"In the wild, they would find a river, stream or lake," he said.

Swimming makes up only a small part of a tiger's day.

The majority of it is taken up by rest.

"So by the time they've taken care of the grooming, eating and interacting with handlers, there's not a lot of time to do much else."

The tiger's swimming pool is the only one to have an underwater viewing area in the southern hemisphere.

Tigers are not the only ones keeping cool with a swim in the pool. Elephants, cassowaries and dingoes also enjoy regular dips.

On the other hand, Tasmanian devils and red pandas enjoy the comfort of air conditioned enclosures.

They will all be in need of some cooling down over the coming days.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecast that the Coast is expected to have a maximum of 31 degrees today.

Tomorrow will be worst, with 33 degrees maximum. Sunday should only hit 30 degrees.

 

SUMATRAN TIGERS

  • Smallest of tigers; males weigh 120kg, females 90kg
  • Wild population less than 400, making them critically endangered

Topics:  australia zoo, editors picks, tiger


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