Watch: How two Christchurch zoos keep the animals cool in the heatwave

As Christchurch soared into the 30degCs on Thursday, local zoos were tasked with trying to keep the animals cool.

The zoos used some luxurious methods, with some animals even being treated to a Valentine's Day treat.

Gus the kunekune pig loves a hose down on hot days. Complete with a carrot, he's as happy as a pig in shade.

He's just one of the animals at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve getting a pampering in 32degC temperatures. 

Despite hailing from Africa, the tortoises also like a hose down. When sprayed they do a famous bum wiggle with joy.

Capuchin monkeys get the royal treatment with handmade iceblocks. The frozen gourmet delights are infused with chamomile and berry tea, with whole peanuts and fresh fruit inside.

Monkeys are a little like toddlers - it doesn't matter the amount of love that goes in, sometimes the treat may not be appreciated. But refrigerated watermelon seems to do the trick, and thankfully the Lamars do enjoy the iceblocks.

On searing hot days Jandi the otter gets his steak tartare served to him in the water so he can eat and swim all at once.

In the heat, the animals definitely receive gold star treatment to ensure they're comfortable. In fact the keepers are running around so much, perhaps they really need an iceblock too.

Lance Dartnall of Willowbank Wildlife reserve says at the end of the day he thinks the keepers are the ones who look like they have got heat stress.

On the other side of town at Orana Wildlife Park, the gorillas get a picnic in the shade complete with a rug and Valentine's Day presents.

While many of these animals hail from hot climates, they're accustomed to the normally cooler Christchurch weather.

Catherine Roughton at Orana Park says they have lived here most of their lives so they don't really like the really hot temperatures.

The giraffes get frozen peas and spinach iceblocks, as do the rhinos.

The keas are given beetroot heart-shaped iceblocks and dinner on special plates.

Spare a thought for the person who made the kind gesture of gifting a Valentine's Day rose to a gorilla.


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