Katraj Zoo gears up to keep inmates warm this winter
Shekru aka Malabar Giant squirrel, the state animal of Maharashtra, which is part of the exclusive conservation breeding programme, is also protected by lining its nesting boxes with dry grass and hay
With the city witnessing a dip in temperatures, the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park and Research Centre has initiated the process of keeping the animals in their park warm. While the city recorded a minimum temperature of 8.8 degrees Celsius, the Zoo authorities are leaving no stone unturned to make the 430 wild animals and reptiles in the park feel comfortable.
“We start preparing for the upcoming winter in October, but this year’s October was moderately hot, so the preparations were already in place,” park in-charge Dr Rajkumar Jadhav said.
“The reptiles are cold-blooded, and we have Indian pythons, cobras, various types of snakes, native crocodiles, and star tortoises in the Snake Park, which require special care, so we have added heaters and Ghongadi (blankets) to their enclosures,” Jadhav added.
Commonly known as Katraj Park, the Zoo’s 130 acres include ponds on 30 acres and separate and large trenches for various animals on the remaining land. These animals include an Asiatic male-female lion, a white tiger, five Royal Bengal tigers, a leopard, a bear, a deer, an antelope, a monkey, and an elephant, all of which have been provided with winter protection.
“The holding cages of the tigers have special wooden planks setup, and for the herbivores, we have stacked their paddocks with dry grass,” Jadhav says.
Shekru aka Malabar Giant squirrel, the state animal of Maharashtra, which is part of the exclusive conservation breeding programme, is also protected by lining its nesting boxes with dry grass and hay.