Summer Challenge: At Chhatbir Zoo, animals get ice bars, jute mats to stay cool

The zoo has recently welcomed new animals and birds, including ostrich, mouse deer, grey pelicans and star tortoise.

Written by Gurarpan Singh | Mohali | Published:April 17, 2016 5:00 am
(From left) Although officials said most of the arrangements were completed, facilities such as this cooler were not functional. A sprinkler has been set up for the Himalayan black bear. Photos: Jaipal Singh (From left) Although officials said most of the arrangements were completed, facilities such as this cooler were not functional. A sprinkler has been set up for the Himalayan black bear. Photos: Jaipal Singh

As the mercury rises with each passing day, the scorching summer heat has also made the animals at Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, popularly known as Chhatbir Zoo, uncomfortable. However, the zoo authorities are making elaborate arrangements to provide them relief from the sweltering heat.

A maximum temperature of 39.5 degree Celsius was recorded Saturday, which was 5 degree above normal. Apart from covering the cages with jute mats, ice bars have also been arranged for some animals.

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A range officer said nearly 70 per cent of the arrangements had been done and the remaining work would be completed soon.

“We take various measures for summers, such as jute mat coverings, ice for bears and providing water coolers and sprinklers for the animals. Ice bars have been kept for Himalayan Bears once a day, which we will now provide twice a day with increasing temperatures,” he said.

However, a visit to the park revealed that that water ponds for the elephants and white tiger were not adequately filled. The coolers provided for the Himalayan black bear were not functioning, even at noon. Birds were seen shielding their young from the sun by flapping their wings.

Taps of some of the water-coolers had also run dry, prompting visitors to enquire about the arrangements. When asked about the matter, officials said the ponds were filled every week, as per protocol.

The zoo has recently welcomed new animals and birds, including ostrich, mouse deer, grey pelicans and star tortoise. “These animals require shade for maximum time of the day, so we provide agro-net coverings around their cages which shields them for the sweltering heat. Their diet plan is also changed accordingly,” said the official.

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