Zoo animals get showers, coolers
Mysore/Mysuru: March is marching out and April is here with soaring temperatures. To beat the heat, humans dwell in their comfort zones with air conditioners to cool the environment, but animals aren’t that lucky.
As times are changing, the authorities of Mysuru Zoo have also started giving showers to animals at least twice or thrice a day and even changed their diet. More than 1,000 animals at the Mysuru Zoo, including the primates — orangutans, gorillas and chimpanzees, are staying cool literally, thanks to the steps taken by the Zoo management.
Thankfully, it has rained in the previous months and there is no shortage of water in the Zoo and enough arrangements have been made to store excess water, without wasting it. Another heartening factor is that thanks to the green cover and shady environs, the temperature inside the zoo is at least 2 to 3 degrees Celsius less compared to the city.
Sprinklers have been installed at individual cages and enclosures and animals playing with water is a sight to see inside the Zoo. Even the moated enclosures of all large animals are equipped with water sprinklers and jets. Sensitive and large animals are given showers daily and even the giraffe enclosures are fitted with sprinkler jets to keep them cool.
Ice cubes are being prepared and procured to be placed inside the enclosures of tigers and bears and inside the ponds. As abundant water is the main necessity for the animals and birds, Zoo officials keep them hydrated with electrolytes, glucose, ORS and calcium tablets to replenish body salts. All the ponds inside the vast campus are replenished with water whenever the earth absorbs the water and no waterbody is kept dry.
Besides the normal diet, fruits such as papaya, watermelon, and muskmelon, citrus fruits such as oranges and sweet lemons are fed along with bananas and grapes. These cooling arrangements help animals beat the heat and also ensure there is no change in behavioural pattern.
There are mud ponds for animals such as Indian gaur, elephants and rhinoceros and the roofs of animal holding rooms have been covered by reed grass soaked with water and also with water-soaked jute gunny bags to maintain the temperature. Chimpanzees and African apes are fed with tender coconut water and vitamin tablets to help them withstand summer heat.
Meerkat gives birth to 3 pups
A meerkat has given birth to three pups at the Mysuru Zoo. Meerkats or suricates are squirrel-size members of the mongoose family with bushy, brown-striped fur, a small, pointed face, and large eyes surrounded by dark patches.
The meerkat and its pups, along with the other members of the family, are attracting crowds and they usually hide in their enclosures or inside the tree barks with holes that are placed inside their enclosures.