Monkeys in Kazakh zoo get wine to keep warm

Monkeys in a Kazakhstan zoo are enjoying a ‘very human’ remedy against cold weather, with wine added to their daily ration.

Each monkey is getting a moderate dose of about 50 grams of Cahors wine a day, mixed with piping hot water and served with apples, lemon and sugar, the Tengrinews.kz website reported.

The monkeys enjoy their drink, said Svetlana Pilyuk, deputy director of the zoo in Karaganda city, around 190 km from Kazakh capital Astana.

"That's normal practice. They always get to drink something relaxing when it's cold or when they're being transferred to another zoo or from summer to winter cages," Pilyuk said.

"In the wild, primates also consume alcohol-containing plants that disinhibit their nerve system and give them some release," she said.

Cahors, popular across all former Soviet Union states, has an alcohol level of 16 per cent. It is the communion wine of the Orthodox Christian church, though its secular consumption is also considerable.

Kazakhstan has been hit by a cold wave that has blanketed most of western Eurasia. Temperatures in Karaganda stood at minus 33 to minus 38 degrees Celsius this week and the forecast promised minus 40 to minus 45 degrees over the weekend.

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