Scheduled for purchase, under the Rs.25-lakh project were a colour Doppler scan machine, a multi-parameter monitoring device, advanced microscopes, and a tele-pathology facility.

The city zoo is poised to procure sophisticated medical equipment to increase the quality of healthcare it affords its animals.

Scheduled for purchase, among other things, under the Rs.25-lakh project were a colour Doppler scan machine, a multi-parameter monitoring device, advanced microscopes, and a tele-pathology facility.

“The new ultrasound scanner would help us make more accurate diagnosis of various ailments of animals. The mutli-para monitor is inevitable when we anesthetise an animal and carry out a surgical procedure. At that point, the simultaneous tracking of various medical parameters is critical. Right now, we make do without any such facility,” a zoo official said. The tenders submitted under this project would be opened in about 10 days.

Garbage problem

The city zoo continued to battle the twin headaches of garbage and plastic. Despite the zoo being a so-called plastic-free zone, the fact that the zoo had engaged an agency to cart away plastic and other waste from the sprawling campus spoke volumes of the menace.

One zoo official told The Hindu that, of late, some visitors to the Museum and Zoo had started using the waste bins on the campus as regular, wayside garbage dumping points. One day, zoo officials even stumbled upon a large bagful of animal waste, including body parts of prawns, tucked away in a waste bin. “This has led to an increase in the presence of stray dogs in the compound. It is only a matter of time before someone gets bitten. If the dogs manage to sneak into the zoo proper, things would only get worse,” an animal keeper said here.

With the onset of the summer heat, zoo officials are also finding it increasingly difficult to convince visitors to leave plastic water bottles at the entrance to the zoo. What with a water shortage beginning to make its presence felt, the drinking water fountains installed inside the zoo sometimes run dry. “As if this is not enough, some visitors can be seen tipping the water tank in these fountains to get water to wash their feet. We are at the receiving end of a lot of disgruntlement from visitors because we actively search their belongings to detect plastic items,” a zoo official said.

Zoo officials said there had been a reduction in the number of animal deaths due to plastic consumption. The situation could turn if the current problems continued.