Delhi: Watermelons, sprinklers keep animals at zoo cool | Delhi News

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NEW DELHI: Water coolers, sprinklers for daily baths and fresh seasonal fruits like watermelons are some of the measures being used to keep the animals cool during the heatwave in the capital that has seen temperatures touch 47.6 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, the hottest so far this season. The zoo has remained shut for over two months now with a lockdown in place. However, officials said arrangements to ensure animals don’t face any discomfort due to the heat were made last month itself.
A senior zoo official said carnivores and omnivores present inside the zoo, including lions, tigers, jaguars and the Himalayan bear, have all been provided water coolers outside their enclosures, which run in two shifts. “Each enclosure has two coolers and one runs at night and one during the day. Most animals prefer to stay indoors during the day when temperatures are high, so we water each enclosure during the day to ensure a wet surface. This means each time even a little breeze blows, it feels cool inside,” said the official.
For herbivores, sprinklers are installed that not only act as a water source, but officials said they were particularly enjoyable for deer species. “During the day, be it black buck or sambar deer, we can see different deer species having a good time with sprinklers. When they need to cool off, they are seen heading towards these sprinklers,” said a senior zoo official. The newly renovated reptile house, meanwhile, is air-conditioned.
To ensure hydration, electrolytes are also being added to the drinking water. An official said there has been a change in diet too, with several hundred kilos of fresh seasonal fruit reaching the zoo premises each day. “The dry green fodder is being wetted before it is fed the animals. Fruits also help cool the animals along with providing water content,” said an official.
For carnivores, the meat consumption has been brought down to reduce heat generation. A zookeeper said while 12 kg of meat would be fed to a tiger during winters, only around 10 kgs is fed now daily. “This is enough to keep them well fed and then they like to stay inside, especially post-afternoon,” said the keeper.
In Video:Delhi: Watermelons, sprinklers keep animals at zoo cool during heatwave



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