As Northern Ireland continues to smash temperature records and the sun is showing no signs of disappearing, we are not the only residents learning to adapt to the heat.
Up on the Belfast Hills, the animals at Belfast Zoo have been enjoying this unexpected heatwave – some more so than others.
Senior Zookeeper Carolyn Gribben described how staff and animals have been taking the sun in their stride and soaking up this atypical Belfast weather.
Speaking to Belfast Live, she said: “A lot of them are loving it – there are a few animals that are maybe starting to struggle with the heat a little bit such as our glorious penguins.
“Generally the animals are loving the weather like we are.”
She explained the extra steps taken to ensure those who cannot handle the heat as well are catered for.
“On days like today, we would do different things such as with our gentoo penguins. They can’t sweat so we need to try and cool them down a bit – what we do is put in ice blocks and cools the air around.
“The elephants would get more showers, we make sure the mud wallow is nice and soft and that almost acts as a sun cream on the elephants’ skin,” Carolyn added.
Discussing operations at the zoo during the pandemic for anyone wishing to visit, she outlined some of the major changes implemented to increase safety on site.
She continued: “From we reopened in April, we have number caps to keep the safety procedures in place that we had before the pandemic started – ideally we would like to see thousands and thousands however our numbers are capped to ensure social distancing measures to keep the public, the animals and keepers safe.”
Screens have been put up at vocal points and a one-way system has been implemented throughout the zoo alongside the two meters distancing guidance and events such as keeper talks being suspended and masks being required in animal houses to comply with guidelines.
Carolyn added: “The animals don’t realise we are in a pandemic – they are still breeding, still having rows with their family members so we’ve had a lot of babies this year.
“They don’t seem to notice and have lived as happy as ever.”
Check out our gallery below to check up on your favourite animals.