As temperatures soar in Greece during the fourth heatwave in less than a month, animals at the Attica Zoological Park near Athens are receiving frozen meals to help them beat the heat. With temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius and wildfires becoming a growing concern for biodiversity in southern Europe, Greek wildlife has been facing the brunt of the extreme conditions.
At the zoo, Tiembe, a 15-year-old Angolan lion, was initially hesitant about his frozen breakfast. His meal, consisting of chunks of red meat and bone, was packed in a foot-long block of ice. However, after some consideration, Tiembe licked the ice and managed to gnaw free pieces of meat from the frozen block.
While the zookeepers are doing their best to provide relief to the animals, the island of Rhodes faced devastating wildfires that burned for 11 successive days. The fire led to the evacuation of around 20,000 people, mainly tourists. Unfortunately, the island’s wildlife was not as fortunate. The fire ravaged mountain forests and a nature reserve, resulting in the burning of approximately 2,500 animals and beehives, as well as 50,000 olive trees. Among the tragic losses were the fallow deer, which are a symbolic animal of Rhodes, found lying dead on the roadside.
As Greece continues to grapple with extreme weather conditions and the impact of wildfires on its wildlife, efforts are being made to provide necessary care and support to the animals in zoos and nature reserves. The frozen meals served at the Attica Zoological Park offer a refreshing and cool treat for the animals, providing some relief during the scorching temperatures.