THE RISE in temperature has prompted the authorities of Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, also known as Chhatbir Zoo, to launch mist fogging, a new initiative, to keep birds and animals comfortable in the sweltering heat. Officials said they were planning to extend it to other areas as well. The zoo houses over 1300 birds and animals at present.
“This new initiative is in addition to the existing summer management plan. Mist fogging has begun in one of the enclosures of the walk-in aviary where birds are kept. Misting lowers the temperature of that particular area and makes it comfortable for animals and birds,” M Saudagar, Zoo Director, told Chandigarh Newsline on Wednesday, adding that mist fogging would cover the entire zoo in phases. “We will seek funds from the department for this initiative so that it is successfully extended to all the important areas.”
During summer, special seasonal care is provided to birds and animals, said zoo officials. The sprinkler shower points have already been installed at most of the places. A senior zoo official on Wednesday said that currently, ice cube of 100 kg is provided to each bear every day during the whole of summer and water melons are regularly given to monkeys, bears and elephants.
“We are mixing Glucon-D powder with drinking water of all the carnivores and omnivores. All other steps are being initiated during summer for all the animals,” said the official. The zoo is providing environmental care differently to carnivores, herbivores and birds.
For carnivores, desert coolers and air circulator fans have been provided in the night shelters for tigers, leopards, lions, bears and other canines. “The few areas of the houses and enclosures have been shaded with 75 per cent density agro-net which helps to reduce the surrounding temperature,” said the official.
In case of herbivores, officials said temporary shelter/hut made and wooden logs and bamboo, etc., are set up for safety against heat stroke and hard sunlight in the enclosures of herbivores. “In case of birds, all the cages have been covered with agro-net and jute mat tightly to save birds from hot air and hard sunlight to prevent them from contracting heat stroke,” the official added.