Heat wave: Nandankanan Zoo staff take care of wild animals

Bhubaneswar: With the intense heat wave sweeping across Odisha throwing normal life out of gear, the authorities of the Nandankanan Zoo on the outskirts of the Odisha capital have taken all possible measures to save the wild animals from the blistering heat.

“Generally during summer, we keep the animals cool by giving them with frequent bath to keep their body temperature normal. Since animals cannot tolerate intense heat, we usually take extra care of them by providing them the food like water melon, sugarcane, coconut, banana and dried wheat etc which keep them cool during summer,” Sukant Sahu, a zoo staff, told OTV today.

Talking about the health care of the wild animals and birds, Anil Das, veterinary doctor of the zoo, said preventive measures are more important than treatment.

“As part of the preventive measures, we make provisions for specific food, sheds, ice, artificial water bodies, water sprinklers which are more important for these animals and birds. Besides, we identify the birds that are prone to heat stress and take adequate preventive measures to keep them cool,” he added.

To keep the elephants cool, the zoo authorities have prepared a small pond inside the enclosure in which the herd was seen staying in the water for hours to relieve themselves from intense heat. Besides, the zoo staffs also take the baby elephants for bath to prevent them from heat stroke.

The measures taken by the zoo staff has also prepared small water ponds for the Royal Bengal tigers that were found sitting in the neck-deep water to escape from intense heat.

To keep the lion’s den cool, the zoo staffs have laid big ice cubes inside the den. Besides, they also sprinkle water at the lions to keep them cool.

For the Chimpanzees, provision of air coolers has been made inside the enclosure while Khusi, the giraffe, is seen staying under the shade most of the time during the daytime.

This apart, special shed with hay stacks has been prepared for the zebras while nets have been put around the birds’ enclosure with sprinkling of water inside to keep them cool. These birds have been provided with water mixed with medicines to save them from dehydration.

For the visitors, the zoo authorities have prepared sheds with hay stacks with provision of drinking water.