As temperatures climb towards 40 in Wagga, it’s not just the humans who need to take care in the heat.
Wagga Botanic Gardens Zoo has deploy mist sprayers in its bird exhibits, extra water and ice cubes for all animals and a mud hole for its pigs.
The zoo will also close early at 3.30pm from Thursday to Saturday to ensure animal welfare during the heat.
Wagga City Council has apologised for the Botanic Gardens Zoo and Camellia Garden being closed for the morning on New Year’s Day, but fans of the attraction have been warned of early closing times for the rest of the week as the heat sets in.
Council Parks and Strategic Operations manager Henry Pavitt said the two attractions were fully open as of Tuesday afternoon.
“The Botanic Gardens Zoo and Camellia Garden were closed for part of New Year’s Day as rostered staff were unavailable due to a family emergency,” he said.
“Replacement staff were secured in time to open the facilities were open as normal in the afternoon.
“Thank you to the community for their patience.”
The council used its social media accounts to notify potential patrons of the closure just before 1pm on Tuesday, shortly before announcing the zoo would close early during the week’s heatwave.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances the Botanic Gardens Zoo and Camellia Garden remained closed this morning,” the council posted on Facebook.
“Both facilities will be open this afternoon for everyone to enjoy.
“Apologies to those that couldn’t access the facilities this morning.”
Temperatures are predicted to hit 38 in Wagga on Wednesday and Thursday, peak at 41 on Friday and then lower back to the high 30s over the weekend.
The sustained heat saw Council decide on Wednesday that the zoo will close at 3.30pm each day until it resumes normal hours on Sunday.
The zoo features native animals such as kangaroos, wallabies, emus, wombats as well as farm animals and an aviary with 300 birds.