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New aviary at city zoo

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GREGARIOUS: Pelicans in the new enclosure at the city zoo. The enclosure will be inaugurated on Friday.
GREGARIOUS: Pelicans in the new enclosure at the city zoo. The enclosure will be inaugurated on Friday.

Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The pelicans and herons in the city zoo now have space to stretch their wings. A new aviary at the zoo will be inaugurated by the Cultural Affairs Minister M.A. Baby on Friday.

Located next to the old bird-house, the new aviary sports 10 nesting boxes, six hanging perches and two fashioned out of bamboo. There is also a pool inside and two hillocks from which there is a waterfall that empties into the pool.

Preparatory to the inaugural ceremony, zoo officials transferred five grey pelicans, a rosy pelican and two grey herons to the new enclosure. On Friday, the Ibis and the spoon-bill too will be shifted to the new facility.

“What we plan to do is to house all water birds in the new enclosure and birds of prey in the old one,” zoo vet Joe Jacob Sebastian said.

The new enclosure has five feeding troughs. Unlike in the old bird house, the feed will be placed in these troughs and not scattered across the facility.

According to Dr. Sebastian, many birds in the old enclosure suffered from fungal infection due to lack of adequate exposure to sunlight. There will be no such problem in the new, airy aviary. Half of the new aviary’s dome will be covered.

“The birds will have the choice of either enjoying the rain and shine or remain in the shade,” he said. The facility has two service entrances.

On Friday, Mr. Baby will also launch a drive to clean the lake on the zoo premises. The lake will be de-silted and an embankment will be built around it. A cobbled pathway will be constructed along the lake’s perimeter. The project will be executed by COSTFORD. The drive will be held in two phases.

Surgery

A portion of the gangrene-afflicted tail of a male leopard was surgically removed on Wednesday. The 22-year-old is the oldest leopard at the city zoo. In all, the zoo has four leopards. The hoof of a Nilgai that had developed ‘laminitis’ was also subjected to a surgical procedure.

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