Mysuru zoo's hot favourites have a cool time, literally

Water being sprayed inside the giraffe enclosure at the Mysuru zoo. DH file photo

They are the hot favourites of visitors to the Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens in Mysuru, and the authorities there have stepped in to keep them cool this summer.

The giraffes, tigers, bears and chimpanzees are having a cool time, literally. The authorities have taken several steps to help these inmates beat the heat.

The temperature inside the zoo is at least 2 to 3 degrees Celcius less compared to the city. Mysuru city recorded 35.4 degrees Celcius on February 26, the highest temperature for February in the last 10 years. The average temperature in the city in February is 31 degrees Celsius, but this February, the city has recorded four degrees higher than normal.

Zoo executive director Ajit Kulkarni told DH, “We believe that prevention is better than cure. Thus, we have taken all necessary measures to maintain the temperature inside the zoo".

Sensitive and large animals are given showers daily. In addition, water jets and sprinkler systems are installed in the enclosures of the giraffe, to help keep the temperature low, the officer says.

Ice cubes are being placed inside the enclosures of tigers and bears on a daily basis. Ice blocks are placed inside the ponds of Himalayan bears too. Chimpanzees and a few other animals are being fed with tender coconut and watery fruits like watermelon and musk melon.

According to the officer, the animals develop stress due to the heat and it may lead to health issues. Maintaining the temperature reduces the stress, he says.

Zoo veterinarians visit the enclosures of every animal every day and the keepers are on a high alert. The zookeepers are being directed to inspect animal faeces every morning and to alert the authorities concerned, if they find any difference, Kulkarni said.

The ponds inside the zoo are filled twice a day to ensure sufficient drinking water for the animals. The animals consume a little more water during summer than usual to overcome the heat. In addition, the authorities have taken measures like regular watering of the plants on the zoo premises to maintain the greenery.

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