City zoo to welcome new residents

Visitors at the National Zoological Park will soon be able to spot ostriches, which the authorities are bringing in from Chennai.

Till now, the Capital’s Zoo did not have ostriches in its existing collection of birds. “We are bringing in two ostriches from Vandalur Zoo in Chennai. They are likely to arrive by Friday,” said curator Riaz Ahmed Khan.

The zoo authorities are planning to acquire more animals by the end of this month. “It is expected that by March-end, we will acquire one male jaguar from Chennai and rhinoceros from Kanpur,” Khan added.

Adding another male Royal Bengal Tiger from Mysore Zoo to the existing four is also on the cards. “Currently, the Delhi Zoo has six white tigers and three female Royal Bengal Tigers,” the curator added. Adding a tiger would help promote in-breeding, he added.While the zoo will receive four chowsinghas or four-horned antelopes from Bilaspur Zoo, it is planning to send three sanghai deer to the latter.

If the addition of animals is not enough to woo visitors, two revamped spots inside the park will surely grab attention.

To encourage activities among chimpanzees, the zoo authorities have built a wooden platform for them with ropes hung from above in their enclosure. “Food will now be put in different spots. The chimpanzees will have to look for it on the platform or at a higher level by using ropes. It will be like a brainteaser for them,” Khan said.

Food baskets have been spread across the deer enclosure to give deer the scope to enhance their “thinking capabilities”, he added.  

Besides expanding the list of visitors’ attractions, the zoo is also drawing up plans to provide relief to the animals in summer. “Coolers will be installed in the enclosures to keep the animals cool.

Also, tigers and lions will be given two kg of food lesser than what they get in winter,” said Khan. While tigers and lions are provided with 12 kg meat in the winters, the amount drops to 10 kg in the summers. These measures will be effective from April 15, he added.

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