While Ballu, a Himalayan bear, is busy rolling over a 100-kg ice block in front of a desert cooler, relishing a watermelon besides its extra feed at Chhatbir Zoo, Appaya the tiger is enjoying frequent showers and playing under sprinklers.
Chhatbir Zoological Park, situated 17 km from Chandigarh, is all prepared to ensure its inhabitants are comfortable in the summer heat. The 200-strong staff has been busy for the past three months to put things together for the purpose.
The elephants are another privileged lot for whom a mud Chandigarh: Sector 49 SAS Nagar: Phase 6, near Fish Market, and Sector 71, near Mataur village Panchkula: Sector 15 (near petrol pump)
Sector 43A and pool has been created, where they can roll in to beat the heat. They are served with additional 10 kg of watermelon, bananas and soaked black grams. The large mammals have also been provided with agro net sheds that block around 75% of heat and keep the environment cool. Another pleasant sight is that of white Bengal tigers submerged in water ponds created in their enclosures.
The zoo authorities say while all animals are being given glucose water and a special diet, environment-friendly sheds have also been built for them. Tigers, lions, bears and jaguars are the animals that need extra care, they say. “When the season changes, animals take some time to adjust. We are very strict with the dietary requirements and are monitoring their behaviour continuously. Any change tells us if they are unhappy or irritated,” says zoo block officer Harpal Singh.
For carnivorous animals, including tigers, lions and jaguars, special arrangements have been made in their enclosures. Both desert coolers and industrial fans have been installed to make the environment cool inside the enclosures. Meanwhile, both tigers and lions are given frequent baths.
“The sprinkles are kept on all the time so that the animals can come out and enjoy themselves and stay cool,” said zoo field director Munish Kumar.