As the city sizzles with rising daytime temperatures, the authorities at the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park are preparing to take special precautions to protect the 810 animals of 90 species from the stifling heat.
From cool roof colors on night houses to covering enclosures with Palmyra shade to putting up sprinklers, the zookeepers make sure the animals stay cool and well hydrated. In the aviary section, which is home to many exotic birds such as macaws and other small birds, the cages are kept cool with khus-khus mats and regular spraying of water.
The animals are currently housed in 77 enclosures that span 625 acres of the zoo park.
“We set up fans in enclosures for animals such as wild dogs, panthers, chimpanzees, white tigers and hyenas. Apart from that, we also prepare sheds in the enclosure to offer protection from the heat wave, ”said zookurator Nandani Salaria The Hindu.
This time, special water sprinklers for reptiles were also kept in place. According to the zoo veterinarians, the animals’ metabolic rate drops when the atmospheric temperature rises. A reduced appetite is the first sign that an animal is caught in the summer heat. In addition to the usual food, the animals are fed summer specialties such as watermelon and cucumber with a high water content. “In addition to this, we also provide glucose and B-complex in the diet,” said Ms. Salaria.
Summer can be particularly challenging for the IGZP’s oldest animals – the white tiger Sirish and the Indian Gaur Raja.
“A number of routines have been introduced for the oldest animals, such as the administration of nutritional supplements such as the vitamin B complex. We are also closely monitoring them to ensure their health, ”added Ms. Salaria.
Like most zoos across the country, the IGZP is battling challenges posed by the financial crisis as gate revenues remain low compared to pre-COVID times. In summer, electricity consumption for the zoo is generally high. During the summer months, utility bills at the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park alone are £ 2.