It's a very rare thing to have everybody agreeing on anything, but for what we believe may be the first time in history, every single weather agency is in agreement that a heatwave is due to blast Kent over the coming week. So how, you may ask, do wildlife parks make sure that their animals do not overheat in the sweltering temperatures? We can't speak for all parks, but our very own Peter Smith will be talking live to Radio Kent at 7.30am this coming Monday 15th August about the lengths that the team at Wildwood go to in order to make sure that our animals are kept cool.
Peter will be talking about the natural advantage our animals have with being based in an ancient woodland. Trees help keep the air and soil moist by releasing water through their stomata in a process called transpiration. Every tree 'transpires' as much water as a tap on full. This process can significantly cool down the surrounding air by 3°F to 6°F (2°C to 4°C) just by the transpirational effect.
Peter will also be talking about our animals with the most need for cooling down - the Arctic Fox. They come from very cold climates (the arctic tundra) and in the wild they can live in temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees C. As well as being more natural for them, a cold environment reduces the likelihood of various health risks (myiasis parasite/ fly strike etc.) associated with over-heating and, if not kept cool, they will not express natural behaviours and will not thrive.
At Wildwood, we have built a bespoke freezer unit which is powerful enough to provide the temperature needed for the Arctic Fox no matter how how the mercury goes outside. Also with the shade and transpiration effect of the trees, less energy is used. We love trees!
Don't forget to tune in to Radio Kent this Monday at 7.30am to hear Peter explain in more detail and keep an eye out on our Youtube channel where we will be posting the recording.
More images can be provided on request. Professional crews are very welcome to visit the park, please get in touch.
Wildwood Trust opened in 1999 as a centre of excellence for the conservation of British wildlife, and was established as a registered charity in 2002. Wildwood is Kent's best British wildlife park. Home to over 200 native animals, past and present and set in 40 acres of beautiful ancient woodland, see wolves, bison, deer, owls, foxes, red squirrels, wild boar, lynx, wild horses, badgers and beavers plus many more. As one of the leading British animal conservation charities in the UK Wildwood Trust is dedicated to saving Britain's most threatened wildlife. Wildwood Trust have taken part in many ground-breaking conservation programmes to date, which include, saving the water vole, using wild horses to help restore Kent's most precious nature reserves, bringing the extinct European beaver back to Britain and returning the hazel dormouse & red squirrel to areas where they have been made extinct.
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