They now depend on fodder from Bandipur and Nagarahole
Elephants, both Asian and African, at the century-old Mysore zoo will soon get to feed on bamboo leaves and shoots grown close to their enclosures.
The vast area of the zoo and the precincts of Karanji Lake Nature Park (KLNP) are home to over 33 types of bamboo. Earlier, the bamboo was left unused and the jumbos fed on fodder such as leaves brought from Bandipur and Nagarahole.
Bamboo grows fast and its harvest is said to be good for its re-growth. At present, the zoo gets green fodder from outside to feed the 10 Asian and two African elephants.
On World Environment Day, the zoo management decided to sustain the vigorous growth of bamboo within the zoo to provide elephants with food.
Executive Director of the zoo B.P. Ravi told The Hindu that bamboo would be harvested at the KLNP on Tuesday and on the zoo premises on Friday, and the shoots would be fed to the elephants. “This has twin benefits — it reduces procurement of green fodder from outside and helps re-grow the bamboo,” he said.
Mr. Ravi said the management proposed to introduce thorn-less Burma bamboo species in the surroundings of the Karanji lake. At present, the bamboo species grown at the zoo and the KLNP have thorns, which are removed before giving to the elephants.
Mr. Ravi said there were over 600 bamboo clumps on the zoo and KLNP premises. Nearly 50 to 60 clumps are harvested in a week. The diversity would be sustained despite harvesting, he added.