Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 23:
Like the humans, animals in the enclosures of the Nandankanan zoo on the outskirts of the Odisha capital too are praying for some much-needed respite from the blistering heat as the parched water bodies leave them thirsty till sundown.
Despite the zoo authorities making special provisions for the inmates to provide relief from the blazing sun, some animals prefer not to quench their thirst from the hot water tanks. They are seen steering clear of the potable water fearing mouth blisters.
With over half the districts in Odisha reeling under intense heat wave conditions, the zoo authorities have made special arrangements for the animals, birds and reptiles to keep their habitat cool.
Air-conditioners, water sprinklers, thatched roofs and shade nets are some of the measures the authorities have initiated to provide some respite from the searing heat. Besides, special diets have also been added to the menu of the inmates to help them rehydrate and keep cool.
“Special arrangements like—air-conditioners, sprinklers, fruits—have been made in the zoo to provide relief to the inmates from the intense heat wave conditions. We are aware of the water reservoirs getting hotter, which is causing discomfort to deer and Nilgai,” said Deputy Director of Nandankanan Zoo Jayant Kumar Dash.
Air-conditioners have been fitted in the enclosures of chimpanzee, orangutan, baboon and Macau. Likewise, straw heaps have been put on tiger, crocodile, lion, snake and bear enclosures to reduce the temperature. Cold water facility has also been provided inside their hideouts.
In addition to this, the birds–Macau, lorry, parrot and myna– are being served seasonal fruits, nutritious and fibre-rich items to survive and sustain the extreme weather conditions. Grapes, ripe papaya, cucumber and water melon are among the fruits being served to them. The chimpanzee, orangutan and baboon are also provided with ripe papaya, cucumber, coconut water and water melon.
Special arrangements in the form of water sprinklers in their enclosures have been made for sambar and Manipuri dancing deer.
Temperature in the zoo is being monitored continuously to make sure the animals and birds have adequate protection against the heat.
“It is a process that is followed every year to keep the animals and birds in comfort during summer,” said another official of the Zoo.