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New zoo additions make it even greater place to visit

Date Posted: 2009-07-23

Add a lion…and a Sumatra tiger...to an already popular zoo, and summer’s really picking up.

A new lion is now on premises of Okinawa Children’s Land Park, the Okinawa Zoo, courtesy of the Tama Zoo in Tokyo. Tama Zoo made the donation to replace a lion that died at Okinawa’s zoo in 2008. On top of that, a Sumatra Tiger has joined the entourage just in time for the summer festivities. The Tiger’s been named Dai, and the Okinawa Zoo’s been celebrating with a series of events in honor of their two newest residents.

To make it even more special, zoo officials made it a party for all the animals, serving them snacks stuffed inside ice. Officials explain animals like eating cool foods during the hot summer, and monkeys and bears enjoyed playing with the ice and fruit. Monkeys dug inside the ice to move the fruit, giving children visiting the zoo an exceptional sight.

“Animals don’t like coming from their rooms in the summer,” a zoo staff member says. “They just try to stay inside and sleep, and we want them to come out and enjoy foods, but they become too warm, so we put the foods inside ice.” That, the zoo handler says, makes the animals love to eat, “breaking the ice and taking foods, and cooling down their bodies.” The animals each deal with ice and fruit in different ways. Chipmunk monkeys throw the ice on the floor to break it, while bears use their sharp nails to break things open.

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