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Mangal beats heat in wet moat

THE SULTRY weather is giving a trying time to Mangal, a 27-year-old orangutan at the Kanpur zoological gardens. To beat the heat, it prefers to spend the day in the wet moat.

india Updated: Jun 16, 2006 00:11 IST

THE SULTRY weather is giving a trying time to Mangal, a 27-year-old orangutan at the Kanpur zoological gardens. To beat the heat, it prefers to spend the day in the wet moat.

Seeing its plight, zoo authorities have made elaborate arrangements to keep the animal cool. Every morning, Mangal is given a bath for more than an hour. But this fails to satisfy the chimp as it slips into the moat as soon as the bathing ritual is over. Only after sunset, the caretaker goads Mangal out of its watery leisure.

Life for Mangal is a lonely one at the zoo. The chimp has no companion. Despite this the chimp remains cheerful all through the year, zoo director R Hemant Kumar said. He said as there were not many orangutans in India, Mangal could not get a companion. In fact, including Mangal there were just three orangutans in India.

Kumar feared that with restriction on exchange of foreign animals in place, the future generation of the country would not be able to watch the animal once these three died.Since orangutans were inhabitants of Indonesia’s Borneo forests, they could not be acquired under the new wildlife laws, he added.

The zoo director said it Kanpur zoo had created a history in maintaining orangutans in captivity. Mangal’s mother ‘Dua’ had lived for 34 years. “It is a world record as far as the life span of the species in captivity is concerned,” he said. Usually, these animals did not survive beyond 27 years in captivity.

Kumar said the Kanpur zoo was also the first one in Asia to be successful in bringing up Mangal even though it had lost its mother 10 months after birth. The second zoo to have achieved this was the Singapore zoo, he added.He said Mangal enjoyed one kilogram of banana, five hundred grams of apple or orange, 75 gm sugar, 200 gm bread, 100 gm groundnuts or peanuts, one kg of milk, 150 gm tomato, one piece of wood apple (bel), corn and 50 gm of jaggery as in its his daily meals.

First Published: Jun 16, 2006 00:11 IST