HYDERABAD: With mercury levels on the rise, Nehru Zoological Park has started to take necessary arrangements and precautionary measures to avoid sunstroke and summer stress for all animals, birds, and reptiles that are not used to hot weather conditions.
The summer arrangements include installation of air coolers, sprinklers, wet jute bags, and small rain guns in all animal enclosures.
“We have installed about 25 air coolers in the enclosures. Another 20 coolers will be installed in a day or two. A total of 45 or 50 air coolers will be set up in enclosures of tigers, leopards, chimpanzees, monkeys, lions, and panthers. Air conditioners and exhaust fans will be installed in the nocturnal animal house as well,” said Asif, an electrician at the zoo.
Arrangements are also being made to place Thunga grass over the roof of some enclosures to keep the animals cool. Four tortoises at the zoo, of which two are over 100 years old and the other two recently gifted by a Saudi prince, will also get special care during the summer months.
“The shell of the tortoise heats up very quickly due to the heat. To keep them cool, we dampen jute bags and place them on their backs. This has to be done at least five to six times in a day,” said K Venkateshwarulu, caretaker of the tortoise enclosure.
Zoo officials are also fixing the fountain in the middle of the pond where nine black swans are kept. “We are pumping in water with pipes for now, but the authorities will fix the fountain in a day or two so that swans have enough water to swim,” Venkateshwarulu said. Foggers are also being installed in reptile house and aviary.
To ensure that the animals are not dehydrated, the diet of the animals is also being altered and fruits and vegetables with high water content such as watermelon, muskmelon, and cucumbers are being given to them.
Vitamin C supplements and glucose are also being given to the animals.
Caretakers and animal handlers have been asked to keep a close eye on the health of the animals in the summer months.