Fans, coolers for Vizag zoo animals to beat heat
Deccan Chronicle.| K.M.P. PATNAIK
Elephants enjoy a splash of water inside their enclosure to beat the soaring heat at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Visakhapatnam. (Image: DC)
Visakhapatnam: The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park here is taking special steps this summer to protect the animals from the severe heat conditions. Animal activists are also at work to help animals beat the heat in rescue shelters and homes across the district. Such activities would continue till the southwest monsoon sets in over Andhra Pradesh.
Talking to Deccan Chronicle, zoo curator Nandini Salaria said fans, coolers and sprinklers have been installed to save animals from dehydration.
"We have installed air coolers in the Chimpanzee enclosure as the two surviving primates are sensitive to heat. Khus Khus mats were also fixed at many enclosures and we are sprinkling water on these by the hour,’’ she said.
She said the menu for both herbivorous and carnivorous animals was changed to suit the climate. The present feed contains fruits and vegetables mostly mixed with water and quality is checked for hygiene.
The park is located opposite to the Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary on the beach and is blessed with natural water bodies.
Spread over 625 acres, the zoo has 90 species of animals including elephants, greater one-horned rhino, Bengal Tigers, Asiatic lions, leopards, striped hyenas, sambar deer and wild dogs.
Pradeep Nath, founder president of Visakha society for protection and care of animals, said the agency helped save the animals from dehydration at the animal shelters located in Madhurawada and Paravada. The shelters have more than 2,000 animals that include rescued stray dogs, cats and cows.
Nath said the agency is continuously feeding the animals with watermelons, clean water and has fixed sprinklers for the cooling effect.
The shelter at Madhurawada has 500 cattle of all types, 80 star tortoises, 500 stray dogs, 42 parrots, 110 cats and seven horses. Some of these animals are blind and sick. "We also conduct an animal birth control programme on stray dogs, 15 of them every day, at our shelters,’’ Nath said.