Like humans, animals are snuggling up in blankets provided to them by authorities to beat the cold at the Nandankanan zoo in Orissa, an official said Tuesday.

“Blankets have been provided to chimpanzees, pythons and others. Besides straw has been placed in the enclosures of various animals and reptiles to keep them warm,” S.N. Mohapatra, deputy director of the zoo, told IANS.

“Agro net sheds have been provided at the enclosures of the birds and squirrel monkeys so that that they do not get cold directly,” he said. “More than a dozen electric bulbs are also being used,” he added. “However animals like lions, elephants and tigers have not been provided any protection from the cold because they are capable of countering the cold,” he said.

The Nandankanan zoo, located on the outskirts of state capital Bhubaneswar is spread over 425 hectares. It houses over 1,200 animals, reptiles and birds.

A cold wave gripped parts of the state over the past week. Phulbani town in the district of Kandhamal had recorded season’s lowest temperature of 4 degrees Celsius Sunday and 5 degrees Celsius Monday.

The cold wave condition abated slightly on Tuesday but still there are several places in the state where the minimum temperature recorded was below 9 degrees Celsius.