Electrolytes, vitamins are added to drinking water of animals: Dr Jacob Alexander

Electrolytes, vitamins are added to drinking water of animals: Dr Jacob Alexander

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For the Himalayan black bears Kohima and Dimapur, the day starts with nibbling on icy fruit packs. For the anaconda and king cobra, it is the AC that does the trick, while for the carnivores, it is the newly installed showers which are kept on until later in the evening. Every summer season, the zoo comes up with a host of measures to help animals in the zoo beat the summer stress. And this time too, the zoo is equipped to beat the heat, according to the zoo authorities.

Apart from the diet, changes have also been incorporated in the enclosures to keep the animals cool in the hot weather. Pedestal fans have been installed in the enclosures of all the reptiles. “We have a good green canopy in the zoo, so in comparison to the rainy season, the summer season is not much of an issue for us. Yet, all preparations are taken. They begin even before the start of the summer season. Pre-preparation activities are carried out to ensure that their vaccination and de-worming is up to date. This is done during December and January,” said zoo vet Dr Jacob Alexander.

“The summer preparations begin not just with the start of summer – we monitor the temperature and the humidity in the zoo. It is when the variations are seen in this that we equip animals to help beat the heat stress,” he said. The amount of greens and fruits has been increased in the diet of the animals. “For the monkeys, it is mostly fruits while for the birds, it is sprouted green gram and Bengal gram. Electrolytes and vitamins are added to the drinking water of the animals,” he said.

Sprinklers and fans have been set up in the cages of most animals along with pools and water moats. Fans have been provided in the enclosures of several animals. “Showers are installed in the enclosures of the tigers. The keepers also bathe them frequently during the day to ensure that heat is kept under check,” says zoo superintendent T V Anilkumar. The zoo authorities have decided to provide shades in areas without a good canopy. “Thatched huts will be set in the enclosures of the ostrich, spotted deer, and sambar deer. The sheds will be installed in a week,” he added.

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