More vegetables and fruits, and less meat than usual have been fed to animals in the Beijing Zoo to help them cope with the early arrival of summer heat this year.
Since May 1, the zoo has been also using over 400 kg of ice cubes daily to cool the animals, Ye Mingxia, media officer of the zoo, told Xinhua on Thursday.
"In the past, we don't feel this hot until middle June or early July, but in recent years, the hot days have come earlier and we have to take measures to cool the animals earlier too," Ye said.
Since earlier this week, the zoo has adjusted diet of animals and over 500 kilograms of vegetables and fruit are consumed daily, three times that of the usual.
For cuddly pandas, air conditions have been turned on. And carnassial tigers are treated with cool water poured on the ground of their residence each hour of the day time.
Every year, the Beijing Zoo spends over 1 million yuan (US$131,000) to prevent animals from sunstroke, Ye said.
"No animal has suffered sunstroke this year" she said.
Statistics from Beijing Municipal Meteorological observatory showed Beijing's summer came around middle May this year, a half month earlier than usual. As early as May 3, Beijing temperature has exceeded 31 Celsius degrees.
(Xinhua News Agency June 15, 2007)