With the mercury level touching the 40 degree Celsius mark and the entire northern region going through the heat wave, the authorities at the local Chhatbir Zoo are ensuring adequate facilities for the animals to stay cool in the hottest summer.
From sprinklers and ice blocks for bears to mud ponds for elephants and water coolers at all the enclosures of the zoo — these animals in captivity are surely enjoying the summer this time.
To fight the souring heat, they are also being given Glucon-D, along with multivitamins and minerals, and a special fruit cream once a week.
There are over 1,150 animals of nearly 97 species at the zoo, and all are fighting the heat just like humans.
Zoo field director Munish Kumar said, “Every summer, we take measures like jute-mat coverings, ice for bears and provide water coolers and sprinklers for the animals. The ice-bar facility is for Himalayan Bears, and they will get it twice a day from now on. We are also contemplating on putting ice in the water pond.”
Apart from getting extra block of ice to roll on, Himalayan Bears are also given a special treat of watermelons.
Since tigers enjoy sitting in neck-deep water during summers, they have also been provided with sprinklers at their enclosures.
Besides, the cages have been covered with jute mats and special agro-nets that reduce heat effect considerably, thereby making it pleasant for the animals, especially panthers, jaguars, to roam around.
Special mud ponds have been created for elephants to take mud bath, along with ponds filled with water. At present, there are three females and a male elephant at the zoo.
The Hippos can be seen cooling themselves off in the water ponds.
The zoo has recently welcomed new animals and birds, including ostrich, mouse deer, grey pelicans and star tortoise. “These animals require shade for the maximum time of the day, so we provide agro-net coverings around their cages. Their diet plan is also changed accordingly,” said the official.