In this hot and sultry weather, as many as 13 species and a count of over 150 birds and animals at the Tiger Safari Zoo are braving the heat in their own unique ways.
The zoo authorities, in their attempt to provide relief, have installed air coolers for the two tigers lodged at the zoo. There are three coolers in the den for the tigers, of which two coolers operate round the clock. “At one given time, one of the tiger remains in the den and other is let out in open. If Deepak (16-year-old tiger) is let out in open in the morning then he will stay in den at night”, the zookeeper on condition of anonymity said.
The name of another tiger is Munny, six months younger than Deepak.
In the Ludhiana zoo, commonly known as Tiger Safari, situated on National Highway 1, near Laddowal, there are 13 species of animals and birds. Apart from two tigers, three jackals, 10 sambar, three black bucks, three barking deer, eight porcupines, 40 ducks, 18 silver doves, five parrots, eight Emu, 35 budgerigar and 15 white pigeon are kept.
Apart from coolers, both tigers are given bath thrice in a day. “We also mix one large spoon of glucose in around two litres of water in their utensil. They also prefer to sit inside the pond or sometimes under the shade of trees”, another zookeeper said.
Ways of animals
Other than tigers, glucose is also provided to birds. Remaining all animals survive under natural conditions. Deers and Sambars sit in the sheds constructed for them. Jackals prefer to reside within their den, they rarely come out, informed zoo authorities.
“Earlier we had one bear for whom we used to arrange the ice cubes, but he died in January this year,” he said.
Urgent need of a healthy breeding tiger
“The life span of tigers is 15 to 20 years and both the tigers are above 15 years. Therefore, there is an urgent need of a healthy breeding tiger to maintain the grace of Ludhiana zoo. Last year, the department had written to Central Zoo Authority of India but still there is no tiger available”, said Khushwinder Singh, Punjab Forest Service official.
He added that they want Punjab government to lend their support for the upliftment of the zoo and maintaining its attraction for the visitors.