Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park: Here’s how to keep animals warm during winter months

The zoo authorities have put heaters to keep the water temperatures in check during winters.

Written by Shub Karman Dhaliwal | Chandigarh | Updated: November 15, 2016 7:55 am
Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, chandigarh zoo, Mahendra Chaudhary Zoo, chandigarh news File photo of main gate of Mahendra Chaudhuary Zoological Park. (Source: Express Photo)

THE MAHENDRA Chaudhary Zoological Park authorities have taken extra measures for animals and birds to make them feel at ease during winter. Reptiles, especially crocodile and gharial, are ecto-thermic animals i.e they depend upon outside temperatures. The zoo authorities have put heaters to keep the water temperatures in check during winters.

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“Temperatures around 30-34 degrees Celsius are the minimum requirement for these species of reptiles in winter. Along with that, we will have to do some pruning of trees as well to maintain suitable temperature for the reptiles,” says a zoo official.

Snakes which hide in burrows need special attention as they generally don’t like to come out
during winters. The cage temperature of snakes need to be closely monitored and should not be below 22 degrees Celcius. The zoo authorities will also prune trees to provide enough sunshine to the reptiles, if need be.

“For the time being, there is enough sunshine but if the need arises then in the coming months, we will do pruning of trees to provide adequate sunshine to the reptiles,” says Manish Kumar, field director, Chhatbir Zoo.

Among other measures taken by the zoo authorities is putting paddy straw in animal enclosures along with bulbs and tarpaulin to keep them warm. “The standard protocol for the animals is being followed as per the species. The measures being taken keeping in mind the physiological needs of the animals,” says Kumar.

Kumar states that apart from the physiological needs of the animals, the dietary supplements are also being provided to the animals with inclusion of multi-vitamin and multi-minerals in the diet for increasing their immunity.

Chunks of jaggery (once a week), healthy porridge and Indian gooseberry are also being provided to the inmates. For big cats, which include lions, tigers and leopards, their night shelters are provided with room heaters and heat convectors. In case of birds, all the cages have been covered with fibre cloths, jute mat and polythene sheets tightly to save them from wind chill and winter rain. Paddy straw and wheat husk bedding have been provided to all the birds for warm nesting.

For herbivore animals, temporary shelters and huts made from kanna (secrem-munja), wooden logs and bamboo are created with the help of binding wire and ropes. These facilities are water-proof.