Orissa zoo takes measures to beat the heat

April 15th, 2008 - 9:27 pm ICT by admin  

Bhubaneswar, April 15 (IANS) Orissa’s Nandankanan Zoo has taken several measures like providing cold water and even a special summer menu to its captive animals to protect them from the heat wave that has gripped parts of the state. “We have constructed 46 new water tanks and the water is being changed every day. Water will be sprinkled from time to time in select enclosures, including those of tigers, to keep the animals cool,” A.K. Patnaik, director of the zoo, told IANS.

Many cities and towns, including capital Bhubaneswar, have already recorded temperatures of over 40 degree Celsius in the past four days, and weather officials say mercury will only go up further.

Cold water would also be provided to animals like tigers, leopards, squirrel monkeys, and birds like cassowary and emu, he said.

“Besides, we will provide special foods like watermelon, green mango, sugarcane and papaya. These will be added to the diet of select animals and birds during peak summer,” Patnaik said.

Apart from that, all animals are also being given anti-stress medicines to prevent dehydration and other stress due to the heat.

“We have also done straw thatching over the existing roof of enclosures of the birds, mammal primates, lion, tigers, zebra and the reticulated python,” Patnaik said.

“We have opened a control room in the zoo hospital and formed a squad that monitors the health of the animals from time to time,” he added.

Nandankanan, which literally means ‘garden of gods’, was established in 1960 on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar and is home to 11 white tigers.

Steps have also been taken for people visiting the zoo. It has witnessed a steady increase in the number of visitors, touching an all time high of 1.7 million last year.

“We have installed several water coolers and water purifiers to quench the thirst of visitors,” Patnaik said.

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