Written by Sakshi Sahi
The mercury in Chandigarh is on an upward march and the UT’s Mohendra Chaudhry Zoological Park — better known as Chhatbir zoo — management has made adequate arrangements for its captive animals to beat the scorching heat. The zoo was constructed in the 1970s and is home to a variety of birds, mammals and reptiles.
From desert coolers, to air circulatory fans, and from mud baths, to modified shelters, the zoo management is going the whole length to provide relief to its animals and ensure that they stay cool. Officials said tigers, leopards, lions, bears and other large animals have been provided with desert coolers and air circulatory fans in their shelters. The enclosures and few areas of the houses provided to carnivores have been shaded with 75% density agro-net which helps decrease the surrounding temperature. To ensure uninterrupted supply, water tankers are always on standby mode, officials said.
“In order to protect the herbivores from harsh sunlight and heatstroke, they have been provided with temporary shelters made of bamboo, wooden logs and saccharum munja, a grass found in arid areas and along river banks in India. Mud baths are being provided to elephants to keep them cool. Muddy shallow pools, filled with water, have been made in the enclosures of Manipur deer, Swamp deer and Deer safari. Pools are being kept full of water round the clock. Agro-net of 75% density for better cooling effect have been provided at a few patches,” a senior zoo officer said.
The cages of birds have been covered with agro-net of 75% density and jute mat by zoo authorities. Sprinkler showers, naturalistic waterfall and artificial rain have been provided to the birds to keep them comfortable.
Bears have been provided with ice-cubes everyday during the summer months. Besides this, Glucon-D is being mixed in the drinking water of all carnivores and omnivores. Watermelons are being provided to the monkeys, bears and elephants. Some fruits have been replaced according to the weather. Officials said bananas had been replaced with papaya. Cabbage leaves had been replaced with spinach leaves.