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Mist, fruit help keep animals cool on city's 2nd red heat alert in 2 days

SHANGHAI'S wildlife parks are offering cool drinks, air conditioning, ice cubes and mist sprayers to animals to protect them from the scorching heat as the city issued its second consecutive red high-temperature alert, signaling that the mercury would probably top 40 degrees Celsius today.

The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau issued the alert at 11:05am. The red alert is the highest in a three-color system. Red alerts yesterday and today are the only ones that have been issued this year.

The Shanghai Zoo said today that mung bean soup, vegetables and fruits are being added in animals' diets to give them some relief from the heat that has baked the city for more than 20 days.

Animals such as gorillas and elephants are fed watermelons and icy orange juice, while penguins, which are particularly vulnerable to high temperatures, are being sprayed with droplets and mist every 30 seconds to cool them down, said Bai Jiaming, a zoo official.

The Shanghai Wildlife Park said it is using air conditioning and ice cubes to keep animals cool.
Animals are fed juicier food, and veterinarians are on alert in case the animals suffer discomfort due to the hot weather, said Ni Li, a park official.

Golden monkeys get watermelon treats and small animals are given showers more frequently to keep them cool, she said.

The city's parks are also taking measures to protect plants from withering.

Electric fans are being used at greenhouses in Shanghai Botanical Garden to ensure good ventilation for plants, while nets and coating materials are used outdoors to protect plants from the sunshine, the park said.


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