New Delhi: As mercury soars in the national capital, the Delhi zoo authorities have made special arrangements to keep the animals and birds cool in the hot summer.
Desert coolers, fans and thatched sheets are being put up at all animal enclosures in the National Zoological Park, which is home to around 110 different species.
'At first, we are in the process of installing coolers which will be run all day long inside enclosures of animals including tigers, jaguars, lions and elephants, and birds. This will help ensure air circulation,' zoo veterinary official N Panneer Selvam, said.
Other than that, significant changes in diet and fluid intake of animals and birds are also being made. Increased intake of glucose, electrol fluids,
vitamin C and fruit-rich diet are important to restore electrolyte balance, zoo officials said.
According to Selvam, herbivores such as deers, buffaloes and chinkaras will be given fruits like cucumber, watermelon which are rich in vitamins. Other than that, ‘rice-kheer' will replace bread in the daily diet.
Among the carnivores including the big cats, meat-intake has been reduced by a few kilogrammes while water intake has been doubled for all animals.
The officials say that as the day temperature is hovering close to 40 degrees Celsius, animals are more prone to diarrhoea and heat stroke.
'Our veterinarians are conducting regular check-ups to detect illness at an early stage,' Selvam said.
Until last year, the Delhi zoo did not have temporary wallowing pools inside enclosures of big animals such as hippopotamus, elephants and buffaloes.
However, this year the authorities have constructed both ‘kuccha' and ‘pucca' ponds meant for animal bath to keep them cool at least twice a day.