Animals in British zoos are being given a rare treat to help them withstand the rigours of an unusually hot summer - ice lollies.

Like humans, the animals are at risk of becoming dehydrated if they fail to keep their fluids up, so zookeepers have been giving them appropriately flavoured lollies. Penguins have been fed fish lollies, tigers and lions lollies filled with rosemary herbs, and bears and monkeys have been offered fruit lollies with real pieces of apple, pear and orange.

Racoons at Newquay Zoo enjoyed yoghurt ice creams, while pigs were smothered in sun cream to protect them from the sun's rays.

Tigers at Colchester Zoo were given a variety that sounded less appetising to their human onlookers - blood ice lollies extracted from horse and cow meat, reported Agence France Presse.