Water sprinklers, jets installed in enclosures

Animals at the Mysore zoo are staying cool literally, thanks to the steps taken by the management.

The moated enclosures of all large animals are equipped with water sprinklers and jets.

Besides the normal diet, fruits such as watermelon, and muskmelon; citrus fruits such as oranges and sweet lemons; and bananas and grapes are fed to them to help them cool off.

The animals usually get stressed and dehydrated in hot weather. Drinking water has been provided in enclosures and more ponds have been developed to ensure that they do not suffer from dehydration.

Electrolytes given with water

Drinking water is mixed with electrolytes to replenish body salts. Steps have been taken to ensure that the ponds are always full of water, explains zoo’s chief veterinarian and assistant director, Suresh Kumar.

“Mud ponds have been created for animals such as Indian gaur and rhinoceros. The mud on their body surface protects them from the heat,” he said.

The roofs of animal holding rooms had been covered by reed grass soaked with water to maintain the temperature. The grass holds water for a longer time unlike gunny bag, giving long-lasting cooling.

Also, the zoo’s extensive greenery lowers the temperature. “The temperature inside the zoo premises is at least 2 to 3 degrees Celcius less compared to other parts of the city. This is an added advantage for us,” Dr. Kumar said.

Water is showered on giraffes from jets installed in their enclosure at least twice a day.

Also, the enclosures of big animals, including elephants, are equipped with water jets. Moreover, elephants are given a bath daily.

The enclosures of tigers, lions and other animals are also equipped with water sprinkler systems.

Along with chicken, ice cubes are served to tigers. “The tigers lick the ice cubes,” he said. Ice blocks are placed inside the ponds of Himalayan bears daily. A team of veterinarians will monitor the health of animals.

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