A lot of thought and care goes into the diet of the city zoo’s inmates

Three-hundred and sixty kilograms of fruits, 130 eggs, 316 kg of beef, 31.50 kg of chicken, 230 kg of foodgrains, 100 kg fish and around 3,000 kg of different varieties of grass.

This is what the Nehru Zoological Park puts together for its wide collection of mammals, birds and reptiles every single day.

The zoo’s inmates number 1,468, represent 151 species, and have special dietary needs that include beef, chicken and eggs for carnivores and fruits, vegetables and grass for herbivores. Frogs are collected in large numbers to feed the reptiles.

Officials say the zoo also procures on an average 14.50 kg of beef liver and 12 kg of bones for the carnivores, while a tonne of fish goes to feeding water birds and crocodiles.

For the herbivores, various grains and 251 kg of cattle feed is arranged in addition to fruits and vegetables each day. For green fodder, the zoo has developed fodder plots spread over seven acres within the premises to raise different varieties such as Para-grass, Napier grass, Green Kadvi, Peepal leaves and thunga.

“Fruits and vegetables that are fed to animals include sweet potato, apples, carrot, cucumber, grapes, sweet lime, tomato, cabbage and sugar cane,” an official said.

Primates, particularly the chimpanzee, are treated to cheese in their daily diet, while nectar forms part of the menu for parrots and lorikeet. A small dose of the same is mixed with milk and provided to the bears here.

State Zoos Director P. Mallikarjuna Rao said all efforts were being made to ensure animals and birds get a balanced diet.

Modified feed

On the advice of veterinarians, modified feed is being provided to meet specific requirements of some species.

“In case of ailing animals, we prepare soups and special diet is given to the pregnant and lactating mothers,” he added.

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