Water sprinklers, fans keep animals cool at Pilikula zoo

Beating the heat

Water sprinklers, fans keep animals cool at Pilikula zoo

To protect animals from sun stroke and other health complications because of the rising mercury, the Pilikula Biological Park authorities have put in place many measures to protect them from the heat.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Pilikula Biological Park Director Jayaprakash Bhandary said  big cats such as tigers and leopards are being sprinkled with water from sprinklers to bring down the temperature inside the enclosures.

Also fans have been installed in the enclosures. Animals are being given additional vitamins and more nutritious food. Wild animals are adaptive to increase in temperature. However, animals in captivity need a level of comfort.

“With the increase in temperature this year, the number of fans and sprinklers have been increased. Summer is also the breeding season for animals. Hence, we are more cautious and trying to reduce the temperature by at least two degree celsius inside the enclosures by sprinkling water or using fan,” Bhandary added.

Sprinklers have been installed outside the enclosures and water is sprayed once every four hours. This keeps the enclosure moist and cool,” he said.

It is not just the animals in captivity that are getting special treatment to beat the heat. Even free moving animals like deer and sambars are being factored in. Small water tanks have been built at different locations and filled with water to so that animals can have enough water and rehydrate themselves. Similar arrangements have been made for tigers and leopards in their enclosures.

He said small animals that are housed in enclosures made of concrete structures have been painted with white reflective paint.

A special diet

This filters the sunrays and thereby, reduce the heat inside the enclosures. A pond has been created for animals to beat the heat. Animals are given a special ‘summer diet’ prescribed by vets.

Bhandary said the zoo is not facing water shortage for the time being as the water is lifted from Gurpura river.

“Though the water level in the river has depleted a bit, we are still managing. There are borewells inside the Pilikula Nisargadhama which cater to water needs,” he added.

Zoo authorities said the number of visitors, including children, has increased during the summer vacation. 

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