As you might be aware, I often infuse my work with some underlying concept, based upon a love and concern for the environment and the beasties that dwell on our planet. My recently released 'Summer Bears' series was no different. Habitat loss and increasing temperatures threaten many species around the planet.
The series was partially inspired by my cat, who has hyperthyroidism. The first summer, just before she was diagnosed and put on thyroid medication, I noticed that she wasn't coping with the heat particularly well. Placing ice-blocks in her drinking water seemed to alleviate her discomfort.
From that spark of an idea, I started thinking about what could be done to help other animals, who were used to cooler climates, to cool down. It was here that Summer Bears came about. These particular bears are not in the wild, as you can see by the cushions they are sitting on.
Each have been given a frozen treat to help them to cool down, away from their natural environments and in climates that they wouldn't naturally be found in.
My mum and a friend of mine drew my attention to this cute photo essay in the New Zealand Herald. Rio Zoo has been coming up with similar solutions to help the animals cope with temperatures of up to 48 degrees. Again an example of how similar we are to our animal cousins.