Australia Weather News

Arataki the Malaysian sun bear cools down by eating a fruit ice block at Canberra's zoo. - ABC

As Canberra sweltered through its fourth consecutive day of temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius on Monday, the city's humans were not the only ones looking for creative ways to beat the heat.

The animals at the National Zoo and Aquarium were also on a mission to keep cool — and with a little help from their handlers, ice blocks were the order of the day.

Today's temperature in Canberra peaked at 35.7C at about 1:30pm, although showers were forecast for the afternoon.

The fire danger rating is set at high for both Monday and Tuesday.

At the zoo, Arataki the sun bear enjoyed a fruit-flavoured frozen treat.

Nearby, Aceh the tiger cooled down with a "bloodsicle" — made from frozen animal blood — and a big zucchini covered in vegemite, thrown into his pool.

Bloodsicles, fishicles, and fruitsicles on menu

Operations manager Renee Osterloh said just like humans, when the temperature heats up in summer, the animals slow down and seek out a cool place to conserve energy.

But they have also become accustomed to icy treats in the hot weather.

"We've got bloodsicles, fishicles, and fruitsicles," she said.

"This time of the year with the warm temperatures, we make sure that most of the feeds incorporate some kind of enrichment item that can cool them down."

Some of the animals were too hot to move today, while others — like the zoo's otters — took a dip.

And there'll be more treats to come for the animals, as temperatures in the ACT are forecast to exceed 30C all week.

ABC