Hippos stay hydrated at the zoo

IF HE could talk, 16-year-old Mana would say hip hip hooray for a spray of water on a hot day.

The Taronga Western Plains Zoo hippopotamus was one of many animals shown extra attention yesterday as extreme heat settled on Dubbo.

After emerging from his pond and being admired by a crowd of zoo visitors, Mana traded sprays with keeper Anthony Dorian as he wielded a hose.

With a wide-open mouth, the hippo captured and returned some of the water aimed at him.

Animals across the zoo were seeking out the shade yesterday as all efforts were made to keep them cool.

A zoo spokeswoman said the vigilance of staff was key in preventing animals suffering from the heat.

She said it was unattended wildlife that needed the help of zoo veterinarians when the temperature rose, and not the animals that called the zoo home.

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