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It's So Hot In Australia Right Now That Lions Are Being Fed Frozen Blood (PHOTO)

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As a record-breaking heat wave roasted Australia this week, a lion at the Melbourne Zoo kept cool by licking a bloody treat:

lion cools off

According to the caption that accompanied this Rex USA photograph, which has gone viral this week, Harari the lion was given the special popsicle, made from eight gallons of blood, to beat the 115-degree heat on Tuesday.

Staff at the Melbourne Zoo also fed frozen treats to the facility's other animals to help keep them cool, Australia's Newcastle Herald reports. Honey, a Syrian brown bear, has been pictured enjoying a popsicle made of meat, fish and fruit, for example.

Feeding frozen goodies to animals when it gets steamy outside is not a novel tactic. Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported that zoo animals in Rio de Janeiro were being fed popsicles and frozen meat to beat the heat there.

According to ABC News, the extreme heat in Australia has sparked several wildfires in the states of Victoria and South Australia in recent days. As of Friday morning, the news outlet said there are "43 out-of-control bushfires across Victoria, while in South Australia, hundreds of firefighters are battling around 16 blazes."

As the heat wave continues to sizzle, Bloomberg reports that thousands of homes and businesses may be affected by power outages and shortages.

In Melbourne, the Australian Open tennis tournament has also not escaped the sweltering heat unscathed. Play was suspended on some courts Thursday after temperatures soared to almost 110 degrees. Tennis star Serena Williams was quoted as saying that it was "too hot to get into rallies," per Bloomberg.

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