Nandankanan Zoological Park (Orissa), April 25 : Authorities at the famous Nandakanan Zoological Park in Orissa are taking various measures to prevent inmates from suffering from scorching heat that has set in advance this summer.
Desert coolers have been installed outside the enclosures of felines, bears and other caged inmates, sprinklers are being used to give showers to all animals and aviaries are covered with palm reeds and leaves to shield the birds from heat.
Sufficient water supply, along with other facilities and proper management has made a big difference comparing to the earlier years.
Animals are given bath twice or thrice in a day. The enclosures are sprinkled to maintain cool.
"The bear takes bath in the morning and again we give him a bath later in the day. We spray water at the wall of each enclosure. During summers the bears are given a bath 3 to 4 times. Veterinarians are consulted regularly who give medicines," said Hariram, care taker, Nandankanan Zoological Park.
The zoo staff ensures that the containers for animals are regularly filled with water and at times ice block is added to the water usually fed to the white tigers.
'We have sufficient water supply and provide lots of water to the animals. We keep the containers filled with water so that the animals can drink the water and we also cool them regularly by spraying water on them which is done at regular intervals of time during the day," Hariram said.
Under special arrangements, enclosures are covered with thatched roof made of straw to prevent direct sunlight.
Foods like jackfruit and mango are not being given to animals, as these fruits attract flies.
Zoos employees work under the supervision of a Veterinary surgeon who daily inspects the animals.
"We give stomach stress and even anti-stress medicine which is supplied by the hospital. A group working under one Doctor roams around the park and if any animal is sick we give immediate treatment," said B. K. Mohopatra, an official with the Nandankanan Zoological Park.
Medicines like anti-stress, antibiotics and glucose are being given to animals.
Besides, a vehicle has been arranged for immediate transportation in case any animal is found to be in stress.
"We have constituted some kind of a squad who remain alert during the peak hours they remain alert. The zoo hospital and the squad visit every enclosure to find out if any animal is in stress and immediately treat them headed by a veterinarian surgeon," said Ajit Patnaik, Director of Nandankanan Zoological Park.
Following casualties in the previous years, zoo officials have taken steps to beat the heat.
"Last to last year we had 15 casualties, last year it was 12 but this year we're hopeful of managing things in such a way that the casualty would further reduce. Due to heat, around four to five birds had died last time. We are trying to minimize casualties," Patnaik added. y Sarada Lahangir