Rhinos Slap On The Sunscreen

The rhinos at Yorkshire Wildlife Park slapped on the sunscreen as temperatures soared by getting a coating of sloppy, cooling mud.

As the heatwave hit a Mediterranean 30C, park rangers applied layers of mud to deflect the sun’s rays and filled up a ‘wallow’ pool for them to enjoy the warm weather safely.

Black rhinos Najuma and Jasper enjoyed the attention and didn’t need a second invitation to wallow in the muddy water at the award-winning park at Branton, near Doncaster.

Staff ensured all the 450 animals, from 60 rare and endangered species, were kept cool with an ingenious set of treats ranging from fish blood ice pops to frozen carrots and beech leaves.

“The burst of hot weather has been great but we always make sure the animals are safe and can cool off when they need to,” said DR Charlotte MacDonald, Animal Director of the 175-acre park. “Our staff love the challenge of preparing food and treats that enrich the animals’ diet and take the edge off the heat – who doesn’t enjoy an ice lolly on a summer’s day?”

The sea lions had their fish delivered frozen while Prince the Binturong, kept nice and cool by eating a carrot and sweet potato ice pop. Binturong’s, also known as Asian bear-cats, are primarily nocturnal, but equally love to bask in the sun.

Ibera, one of the park’s Maned Wolves, enjoyed a ‘blood ice-pop’ created using fish blood that ensured she got her daily nutrients and the opportunity to chill.

The wallowing pool was popular with all the black rhinos while Makibo, a 7 year-old endangered bull, loved munching through his bucket-shaped serving of frozen beech leaves. The Roloway Monkeys also had frozen treats in the form of blended carrot and sweet potato as the park’s freezers were put to the test.

Visitors enjoyed the hot weather too as they toured the park which is the UK’s No. 1 animal adventure walkthrough attraction.