Tourist at­trac­tion

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHU LIXIN in He­fei zhulixin@chi­

Per­sis­tent high tem­per­a­tures in south­ern China have kept zoo an­i­mals, es­pe­cially those from po­lar ar­eas, in­doors with air con­di­tion­ing.

An­i­mals, es­pe­cially those from po­lar re­gions, may have to rely on ice and air con­di­tion­ing for a few more days as high tem­per­a­tures could con­tinue to af­fect south­ern ar­eas of China.

On Tues­day, Lian­gliang, a gi­ant panda, sat in a twin­room panda house at He­fei Wildlife Park await­ing break­fast.

The tem­per­a­ture had risen above 33C out­side but re­mained at 24C in­doors, thanks to two air con­di­tion­ers in­stalled in each of the rooms.

“The air con­di­tion­ers keep work­ing 24 hours a day,” said Jiang Lei, who bred the panda.

“For most of the day, the panda will stay in­doors to en­joy the cool, and only very early in the morning will it take a stroll in the yard.”

Air con­di­tion­ers are also be­ing en­joyed by an­i­mals in­clud­ing red pan­das, mon­keys, Peru­vian pen­guins, Siberian tigers and an Asian ele­phant.

Jiang Hao, deputy head of the zoo, which has more than 2,000 an­i­mals from about 120 species, said, “Some of the an­i­mals will also be given ice cubes and fruit, such as wa­ter­melon, which are de­liv­ered to them twice a day.”

East­ern and south­ern ar­eas have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a heat wave since last week, with tem­per­a­tures in Shang­hai reach­ing 40 C dur­ing the week­end.

The Cen­tral Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Ob­ser­va­tory on Tues­day con­tin­ued to issue an or­ange alert for the heat, the se­cond-high­est level in the na­tional fourtier sys­tem. It said the heat would per­sist in east­ern ar­eas un­til Thurs­day.

Fore­cast­ers said the high­est tem­per­a­tures would be up to 41 C in some east­ern ar­eas, such as Zhe­jiang and Jiangsu prov­inces, and in Sichuan prov­ince and Chongqing in the south­west.

In Ji’nan, Shan­dong, keep­ers are striv­ing to en­sure the in­door tem­per­a­ture re­mains at -3Cfor pen­guins by keep­ing air con­di­tion­ers run­ning all day. Po­lar bears can en­joy col­or­ful ice cubes made from var­i­ous fruit juices, ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports.

Li Guofeng, man­ager at an ocean world, was quoted as say­ing: “It’s so hot and po­lar bears are re­luc­tant to move. Col­or­ful ice cubes can at­tract the bears to play with them and help them to do more ex­er­cise.”

How­ever, Jiang from the He­fei Wildlife Park said the use of air con­di­tion­ers had con­trib­uted to a 30 per­cent in­crease in daily elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion, com­pared with other sea­sons.


Ice is used to keep an­i­mals cool in the sum­mer heat, in­clud­ing pen­guins in Shan­dong prov­ince, a tiger in An­hui prov­ince and a panda in Hubei prov­ince. Zoo work­ers in dif­fer­ent ar­eas are help­ing the an­i­mals when high tem­per­a­tures are recorded.



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