Andhra Pradesh

Vizag zoo gets ready with summer plan

The baby hippo rests along with its mother at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park as temperatures soar in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.

The baby hippo rests along with its mother at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park as temperatures soar in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

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Diet changes for the inmates and amenities for visitors are on the anvil

The speedily soaring mercury level across the region has forced the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park to bring in its summer plan for the inmates almost a month in advance.

The pond area, usually brimming with water flowing in from the Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary this time of the year, has already dried up. With over 1,000 animals and birds, some of which are used to sub-zero degree temperatures, and newborns in various enclosures spread across 625 acres, it’s a mighty task ahead for the officials as they brace themselves for one of the harshest summers in the past couple of years.

Challenging task

Zoo curator B. Vijay Kumar told The Hindu, “Summer has arrived early this year and the depleting ground water levels are another challenge. We have already started work for summer protection measures for animals and visitors. We are extra cautious in the case of birds, newborns and the big cats. In the carnivore section, work has begun to provide cool-roof paints on the night kraal enclosures. We have also started placing palmera leaf sheds on the day kraals of the carnivores and the sloth bear. Diet changes and additional amenities for visitors such as shelters and water points are a part of our plan.”

With a series of newborns in the hippo, ring-tailed lemur and the wild dog enclosures, the officials are leaving no stone unturned to ensure the summer months pass by smoothly for the animals.

In the aviary section, coolness is ensured through vetiver mats and gunny bags, where water will be sprinkled periodically. The sprinklers will work round the clock in the deer and the carnivore enclosures. Animals have also been shifted to a lighter diet plan with additional supplements.

“A change in diet is extremely essential to prevent dehydration. Succulents like cucumber, banana and pumpkin are introduced along with glucose and Polybion supplements. The birds are provided with electrolyte powder solutions,” Mr. Kumar said. For visitors four RO water systems, with a capacity of over 500 litres each, have been installed. This apart, 18 existing water points are being kept ready along with shelters at 500 metres. The zoo also has a sizeable number of free ranging animals that enter from the adjoining hills and the forest area. “With the main pond drying up, we will be keeping 50 water zones for them.”

Record number

of visitors

This year, the zoo received a record number of visitors crossing over 9 lakhs and an all-time-high revenue of ₹3 crore. Work on the Detailed Project Report under the World Bank funded AP Disaster Recovery Project will be completed by March 25.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 7:38:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/vizag-zoo-gets-ready-with-summer-plan/article22921089.ece

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