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Keeping our animals safe in the sun

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Five ways we’re keeping our animals cool in the warm weather so they stay comfortable at home and when they’re visiting you.

With the weather heating up, ensuring our animals are cool and comfortable is paramount. The animals we have at Lion Learners include lizards, snakes, tortoises, rabbits, guinea pigs, pygmy hedgehogs, rats, tenrecs, salamanders and minibeasts. Each animal is different and some deal with the heat better than others.

With all their fur, fluffy animals like rabbits and guinea pigs can struggle in the warm weather and need extra special care. Fire salamanders might sound as if they like it hot, but they actually prefer much cooler temperatures and can get ill if they overheat. Others, like snakes, lizards and tortoises are often spotted basking in the sun, but they still need an option to cool off, if needed.

Here’s how we make sure our animals stay comfortable over summer:

1. Fresh water on tap

Like us, animals need to hydrate. Which is why all our animals have fresh water every day and we always travel with plenty of water bottles and bowls.

Did you know? Reptiles, like snakes and lizards, don’t drink as much as mammals, like rabbits and guinea pigs. This is because the scales on reptiles helps prevent water loss, keeping the reptile hydrated for longer. Mammals need to drink much more often to stay hydrated.

2. Plenty of shade

Animals seek shade when they get too hot. At home, this is provided by trees bushes, hides and even sun umbrellas. Afterall, if it’s good enough for us, why shouldn’t the animals enjoy chilling under a parasol too? Cocktails not included!

When we go to outside events, we bring our own shade with us. This is in the form of large pop-up gazebos, which offer lots of shade for all our animals. It also means we can create sun and shade zones for the tortoises and other reptiles. You’ll often see us at events adjusting our set up as the sun moves to ensure the animals are in coolest spots.

3. Control the microclimate

Temperatures may be rising, but we have lots of tricks to make our animal’s enclosures more comfortable – both at home and at events. Air conditioning, fans, good ventilation, blinds to block out the sun and cooling mats all help keep our animals more comfortable.

Some of our animals, like our tortoises and snakes, love to have a shallow water bowl to lounge in on sunny days. To keep them safe, we always ensure the animal can lift their head well above the water level and never them unattended while they bathe.

Did you know? Placing a bottle of frozen water inside rabbit’s and guinea pig’s enclosures helps cool our fluffy friends down. We wrap the frozen bottle in an old towel to make sure it’s comfy to snuggle up to.

4. Lots of rest time

Animal handling and petting is brilliant and our animals love to interact with you. But when it’s hot, it’s important to give them extra rest time and make sure they’re not handled too much.

At outdoor summer events, we factor in plenty of time out for each animal. When you see an “I’m resting” sign” on a travel tank or pen, it’s because the animal is taking a break to cool off.

5. Leave our fluffies at home if it’s very warm

While our reptiles enjoy the sun (as long there’s shady areas too), it can sometimes be too hot for rabbits and guinea pigs to travel. Because the welfare of our animals must always come first, on these days it’s best to leave our fluffy friends at home to chill out.

Lion Learners animal handling experiences start from £120.

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Caring for our animals

Animal welfare is at the heart of everything we do. Many of our animals have been rescued from neglect or adopted from people who can no longer care for them. The animals live with their presenter in special habitats with the best possible enrichment. This encourages stimulation and natural behaviours. By living in our homes, we are able to form exceptionally strong bonds with the animals. It also lets us keep a very close eye on them to make sure they are happy, healthy and willing to socialise. It’s crucial that our animals’ needs are met and they are comfortable in any situation.

We carefully pick the species we choose to share our lives with, to ensure that we are able to meet their needs. This is why you won’t find us travelling with animals such as meerkats or racoons.

When you meet us, it will quickly become obvious how much we love our animals. We hope you will love them as much as we do!


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