Drink a lot of water — with glucose dissolved if need be, and eat more fruits like watermelon and muskmelon. If that is your antidote to the summer heat, you have company in the inhabitants of Delhi Zoo.
The zoo administration has made major changes in the diet of animals, especially carnivores, to build up their natural resistance to heat.
“We have installed about 40 coolers in the cages housing lion, bear, gibbon and zebra. There is an arrangement for power backup in case of a breakdown,” said DN Singh, zoo director.
Changes in diet include adding glucose to drinking water in all enclosures, cutting down the daily meat intake of lions from 12 kg to 8-10 kg and keeping water containers in the bear enclosure topped up.
Watermelon, papaya and even bael leaves have been added to the bear diet while elephants get khichri and more green leaves. Zebras are being fed carrots — 2 kg a day.
These measures follow the death of a German chimpanzee at the zoo, due to heat, in April 2007.