THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On Friday, Thiruvananthapuram Zoo was opened to the public, after being closed since Thursday afternoon due to heavy rains. But there were very few visitors. Animals put up with the heavy rains, but flightless birds like Ostriches were drenched because they refused to enter their enclosures. On Thursday afternoon, when gusty winds hit the capital city, the Zoo authorities evacuated hundreds of visitors by noon. They felt that it was the best thing they did as several branches of trees fell. A Zoo official told DC that if the visitors were not evacuated, they would have been injured.
“By Thursday 4 pm we decided to close the Zoo because of the heavy rains. We ensure that just before the rainy season starts, the branches of trees are pruned lest they fall on visitors. Despite taking adequate precautions, branches of trees fell in the gusty winds and heavy rains inside the Zoo”, said T. V. Anil Kumar, Zoo superintendent to DC. Fortunately the 600 plus animals as well as 150 plus varieties of birds withstood the heavy rains. But what got the authorities worried was the refusal by Ostriches and even parrots and peacocks, both of which have been put along with Nilgai, in not entering their enclosures.
A department official told DC that for long the Zoo authorities had been demanding the construction of artificial manmade nests for all types of birds, but they are yet to be sanctioned. “We need lots of artificial manmade nest boxes. During the heavy rainy season, it will be a solace for the birds and the flightless ones like Ostriches and Emus. Both the Central Zoo Authority and State Government should consider this long pending request favourably”, said a department official.