Watermelons, ice blocks and coconut leaf thatch roofs are some of the things introduced in the Mysore zoo to insulate animals and birds from the summer heat.
As mercury levels are rising, it is necessary to protect the animals from the heat, though the vast green cover in the 45-acre garden offers much-needed shade.
Usually, the animals get stressed and dehydrated in hot weather and creation of cool surroundings is necessary for their comfort. To ensure that the animals do not suffer from dehydration, drinking water has been provided in enclosures and more ponds have been developed.
Zoo executive director B.P. Ravi told The Hindu that steps such as changing the diet to add more fruits (for herbivores) and mixing drinking water with glucose to prevent dehydration (for carnivores) are being taken.
“When the summer peaks, we may have to take other measures,” he says.
Until the first summer showers, veterinarian will monitor animals and birds to check whether they are in any discomfort.
Mr. Ravi says water is showered on giraffes twice a day, from water jets installed in their enclosure. Water jets were also introduced in the enclosures of all large animals, including elephants. Besides this, elephants are given a bath daily. Sprinklers are used to keep chimpanzees cool too.
Mud ponds have been created inside the enclosures of Indian gaurs and rhinoceros, and they relax there most of the time to overcome the heat. As water for the Himalayan bears should be cooler, ice blocks are placed inside ponds.
Pregnant animals get more care, with more natural shade created for them.
Besides, says Mr. Ravi, the greenery inside the zoo has been expanded to lower temperatures inside the premises.