Scorching temperatures hit Israel on Wednesday forcing both people and animals to try to find a way to cool off.
At the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem, a brown bear relaxed in a pool while munching on a chilled watermelon. In another part of the zoo, elephants also took to the water, as temperatures soared above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Zookeeper Dennis Smith said that the staff were working hard to make sure that the animals in their care remained safe during the heatwave.
“If we see an animal who is suffering from the heat, we can open the doors because it’s much cooler in the rooms, or we can make them ice
cream or popsicles with frozen stuff, fruit [or] vegetables and we throw it into the water,” he said.
He also said that the animals seem to like the frozen treats.
“They seem to be very happy and they feel probably cooler, so they enjoy it,” he added.
The zoo remained open on Wednesday despite the heat, but few tourists decided to brave the hot temperatures to look at the animals.
One man, who came from Ukraine to visit the zoo admitted it was not the best day to be outside.
“It’s too hot for us,” said Sergei, who had come to the zoo with a friend.
According to meteorologists, it is the first time since the 1970’s that two heat waves have sent temperatures well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in May.
Israelis were advised to stay indoors and out of the heat during the hottest part of the day, with many choosing to stay in air conditioning sending the nation’s energy consumption soaring.
Still, at east 143 people were treated for heat-related injuries during the hot temps which thankfully broke by Thursday.
Thanks to the frozen treats and attention of the staff, however, the Biblical zoo animals managed to tough out the scorcher unscathed.