Zoo News

Zoo News - Volume 40, March 2020

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1229682

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ZOONEWS MEMBER MAGAZINE • AUTUMN 2020 • 1 9 Elephants stay cool on hot days by taking dips in water. They also flick mud onto their backs to protect themselves from the sun. At Werribee Open Range Zoo keepers give the resident meerkats and hippos special ice blocks to help them cool off on hot days. Drought tolerant plants, such as the Acacia baileyana (wattle), are planted at Healesville Sanctuary. That equates to seven Olympic-sized swimming pools of water being recycled each year. So, is the recycled water clean enough for the animals to swim in? Senior Manager of Environmental Sustainability, Kiam Yoong, explains: "Once water is diverted to the onsite treatment plant, it's pumped through a strainer to remove finer particles. From here it goes through a continuous microfiltration unit, a reverse osmosis filter (if required) and UV [ultraviolet] sterilisation. The water is also dosed with sodium hypochlorite to ensure a continuous supply of clean drinking water. The end result is Class A recycled water." Werribee Open Range Zoo also uses recycled water from the nearby Western Treatment Plant. The Zoo plans to go one step further by installing tanks to maximise the use of rainwater around the site. Keeping animals cool during summer is essential, but there are many ways to help them without wasting excessive amounts of water. Keepers at Werribee Open Range Zoo have lots of clever tactics to help animals cool off. For example, on hot days they give the resident meerkats special iceblocks to lick – with worms inside to make them especially enticing. Some gardens require significant amounts of water, especially if filled with introduced species that won't survive our hot and dry climate. Healesville Sanctuary is landscaped with native drought-tolerant vegetation such as manna gums. Home to Emus, kookaburras and other native animals, the Woodlands Track is filled with native, naturally drought-resistant plants, shrubs and trees. ZN Every little bit counts, so try these water- saving methods in your home: Have shorter showers and install low-flow showerheads in your bathroom. Only run your dishwasher when it's at maximum capacity. Install a water tank in your garden so you can collect your own rainwater. Use a trigger nozzle hose so you can instantly control the flow when watering plants. Wash your car using buckets rather than a hose. Water savings tips BYO bottle Reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfill by buying a reusable water bottle from the zoo shop. Refill it at one of the many water fountains around the zoos.

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