Sat, Aug 13, 2011 - Page 13 News List

Fruit ice keeps macaques cool
高溫破表 獼猴吃冰降溫

Formosan rock macaques munch on assorted fruit ice in their enclosure at the Taipei Zoo in this photo taken on July 30.

Photo: Courtesy of Taipei Zoo

Taipei Zoo has taken measures to alleviate the suffering of its animals which are finding it difficult to endure this infernal summer heat the. Zoo authorities have not only installed sprinkler devices to spray the animals, they have also started distributing fruit and vegetable ice to the animals as refreshments. Visitors can observe Formosan rock macaques rushing to jump around in the water as they devour ice to cool themselves down.

Taipei Zoo director Jason Yeh said that animals from the earth’s temperate zones, such as brown bears, black bears, and American buffalo, have the most difficulty enduring the heat. Therefore, devices used to lower the temperature are installed in each display area. The display site for animals from Asian tropical rain forests provides the animals with artificial torrential rains every hour to simulate the level of precipitation that would actually occur in a natural habitat. Many visitors come to the area just to expose themselves to the man-made rain.

Every animal has its own particular way of cooling itself. For example, the hippopotamus stays in the water all day, and only goes to shore to look for food at nightfall after the temperature has fallen. The macaques prefer to play in the water-filled ditches of their enclosure, and even climb up their rock walls to jump into the water. The gibbons, on the other hand, naturally dislike water and only climb up into their trees to get out of the sun.

The zoo alternates which animals it gives fruit and vegetable ice, which is only available on a limited basis during the summer months. When they get around to the macaques, the zoo staff makes a mixture of their favorites — watermelon, apples, and guava — which they freeze in water mixed with brown sugar and honey.


1. alleviate v.

減輕 (jian3 qing1)

例: You should take some medicine to alleviate the pain.


2. simulate v.

模擬 (mo2 ni3)

例: They use virtual reality to simulate the sensation of

riding a roller coaster.


3. delectable adj.

令人愉快的 (ling4 ren2 yu2 kuai4 de5)

例: The chef prepared an assortment of delectable

appetizers for the diners at her restaurant.


Yeh also said that there is an obvious hierarchy of dominance among the macaques. Whenever the alpha male is around, the other macaques do not get close to the fruit ice. Therefore, the staff has to strategically place fruit ice in different areas of the enclosure at the same time. After the younger macaques have observed the alpha male’s behavior for a while, they quickly run to a safe place so they can enjoy their own small portion of the delectable ice treat.








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