Delhi Zoo's Cool Measures to Beat the Heat Wave

New Delhi's National Zoological Park has launched a series of measures to keep animals cool amid a severe heat wave. Efforts include fruit ice balls, water coolers, bamboo sheds, and running water in enclosures. These comprehensive steps aim to maintain a comfortable environment for all zoo residents.

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 20-05-2024 21:35 IST | Created: 20-05-2024 21:35 IST
Delhi Zoo's Cool Measures to Beat the Heat Wave
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As the national capital continues to swelter under a heat wave, the National Zoological Park here has stepped up its animal care efforts with diet adjustments that include serving fruit ice balls and installation of water coolers and bamboo sheds in enclosures, among other measures. Delhi has seen a steady rise in temperature in recent days, with this summer's highest temperature recorded at 44.4 degrees Celsius on Sunday. The weather department has issued a 'red alert' due to severe heat wave conditions in the city.

Speaking to PTI about the measures taken to help animals beat the heat, Delhi Zoo Director Sanjeet Kumar said, ''The zoo authorities have introduced a comprehensive set of measures to protect the animals from the extreme heat and create a more comfortable environment during the hottest part of the year.'' To ensure maximum effectiveness, wall-hanging thermometers are being used in all key enclosures to monitor temperature fluctuations, Kumar said. Seasonal fruits like watermelon and cucumber have been incorporated into the diets of primates, bears, and herbivores to help them stay hydrated and cool, he added. In the section housing carnivores, water pools have been repaired and filled to maintain running water during peak hours, which helps in keeping the temperatures down, Kumar told PTI.

Animals are taken to the pools in shifts to ensure that they get relief from the heat, and stagnant water in the moats is regularly cleaned, disinfected, and refilled, he said.

''Shade structures over water pools prevent water from overheating, while sprinklers and water coolers are operational in all enclosures, including those for tigers, lions, and leopards. Diets have also been adjusted for the summer season,'' the zoo's director told PTI.

For the herbivores such as deer, nilgai, and elephants, Kumar said, sprinklers have been installed throughout their sections.

''Wallowing tanks for species like the sambar and swamp deer are being regularly cleaned and equipped with running water. Measures to prevent water accumulation inside enclosures are in place, and moats are cleared of any leftover fodder stems. Bamboo and straw sheds offer shaded resting areas for the deer, while elephants and rhinos receive multiple water showers daily to help them stay cool,'' he added.

In reptile enclosures, the pools are kept running during peak hours to ensure a cool environment. Shade structures over crocodile and turtle enclosures have been put up to help prevent the water from heating up, and wet gunny bags, along with thermometers, have been placed in snake enclosures to monitor and maintain suitable temperatures.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday predicted heat wave conditions in many parts of Delhi and severe heat wave conditions in other areas, issuing a red alert for the next five days.

Amid such unfavourable weather conditions, birds are being protected from the hot winds by side wall curtains that are sprinkled with water throughout the day, Kumar said.

Gunny bags have been hung in certain bird enclosures and are also sprinkled with water to maintain cool temperatures. Water coolers are used where necessary, and larger earthen pots ensure cool drinking water is available for the staff.

''To add a refreshing treat, fruit ice balls are distributed daily to all primates,'' Kumar said.

He added that water coolers have been installed in all bear houses and it is ensured taht they are regularly cleaned and refilled with fresh water. Bears are rotated in exhibits and kept in feeding cells during the hottest part of the day. Large ice blocks are provided when needed, and bears are also given fruit ice cubes as part of their enrichment activities.

The animal care staff remain vigilant during peak hours, ready to inform the zoo hospital of any behavioural changes in the animals, the director said.

Over the next seven days, the maximum temperature is predicted to range from 44 to 48 degrees Celsius in the national capital, according to the IMD weekly weather forecast.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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