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Quenching the Summer Heat is Crucial for Animals – Reactions of Different Animals Enjoying Shaved Ice

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Post date:2019-08-20



The high temperature and humidity of summer coupled with Taipei Basin’s terrain – which does not dissipate heat easily – as well as the heat island effect of the surrounding metropolitan area, can lead to intolerable, sweltering weather. It is time to enjoy a bowl of refreshing shaved ice to quench the summer heat!

Taipei Zoo pays particular attention to look after animals by activating the water mist system to cool down the ambient temperature; while the central kitchen’s Commissary also unveiled the summer-only shaved ice for the animals in the zoo. Different flavors of shaved ice, such as shaved ice with fruits, clear shaved ice, shaved ice with meat, shaved ice with blood and shaved ice with fish, are prepared for various animal species to quench the summer heat and enrich their behavioral diversity. How do you think the animals will react when tasting the shaved ice?

Favored by omnivores, the shaved ice with fruits is prepared by freezing seasonal watermelon, papaya, pineapple, apple, carrot, and sweet potato with drinking water to form small water bucket-sized ice and beverage cup-sized ice. Although Formosan rock macaques at the Formosan Animal Area uphold a hierarchical social structure where the most dominant leaders get to eat first, the care workers will provide smaller cup-sized shaved ice for other macaques in the troop. Each macaque exhibits a unique personality, with some that like to hold the cup-shaped ice with both hands and lick it slowly, while others immerse the cup directly in the water for it to thaw quickly so that they dive right into the good stuff. Fellow primates in the Tropical Rainforest Area, such as the Panamanian white-faced capuchin, would touch the ice curiously before bashing the cup-shaped ice into smaller pieces before enjoying them unhurriedly. Others such as the black spider monkey, black-handed spider monkey, and brown-headed spider monkeys do not have the faintest interest in the shaved ice with fruits. In the beginning, they would touch and smell the cup-shaped ice, but they would then lose interest quickly and turn away!

In the African Animal Area, the troops of olive baboons also exhibit a clear hierarchical social structure where only those at the top of the echelon may enjoy food first, with the rest of the troop standing by and watching. Although they are also primates with distinct social hierarchy, dominant chimpanzees in the same area are willing to share their shaved ice with fruits with other troop members after they have tasted it! Today (August 14) marks the 50th birthday of Amei, the most senior chimpanzee in the park; therefore care workers have prepared shaved ice with fruits and fruit sorbet made from watermelon juice for the chimpanzees from 14:30-15:00 today. Everyone is welcome to wish Amei a happy birthday at the chimpanzee outdoor activity area of the African Animal Area!

Another way to enjoy a cool summer is to join the Sanmao Star Gazing Fun family astronomy camp co-organized by Taipei Zoo, Taipei Astronomical Museum, Maokong Gondola, and Zhinan Temple. Besides paying a visit to the giant pandas, experiencing the scintillating aerial ride, and admiring the mysterious twinkling stars over the sky of Maokong, you can also understand the local flora and fauna and culture of the Wenshan District, as well as the constellations in summer. The camp’s eligible participants include grade 1-6 students and their families. Registration will begin at 10:00 on August 14 (

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