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article imageMonkeys given hot red wine to ward off the cold

By Katerina Nikolas     Feb 5, 2012 in Odd News
A warming tot of mulled wine is just the thing to keep the freezing temperatures at bay, as monkeys at the Karaganda zoo, who enjoy a tipple, would agree.
As temperatures in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan plummet below minus 33 Celsius, the monkey residents of Karaganda zoo are fed a warming concoction of hot red wine mixed with sugar, apples and lemons. Not only does the wine help to keep the monkeys warm but it also helps to protect them from respiratory infections.
According to Pravda the wine of choice is "Kagor" red wine, used in Orthodox churches. The wine also serves as a sedative if the animals are moved between enclosures.
Svetlana Pilyuk of the Karaganda zoo said "We give the monkeys wine because in the winter it protects them from respiratory infections. You could say we douse them with wine to ward off flu," according to Global Post.
The BBC reported Pilyuk said the monkeys enjoyed the alcohol and "Some of them even abuse it, coming up to the drinking trough several times." She added "We by no means make them drunk. It's normal practice. Zoos do this all over the world."
However, this was hotly disputed by a spokesperson from the Zoological Society of London who stated "It's absolutely not the norm to give any animals alcohol, diluted or otherwise. Alcohol lowers the blood temperature so it would be completely the wrong thing to do."
The zoo does have a zero alcohol policy for pregant monkeys and babies, who are not allowed to imbibe.
More about Monkeys, Red wine, Kazakhstan zoo, kagor red wine
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