LIFE

In the zoo on a rainy day

Victor enjoys the rain.

Victor enjoys the rain.  

The lush green environment and the micro climate prevailing inside will surely make the visitor's trip memorable.

NATURE LOVERS know the beauty of the forest on a rainy day. But not everyone can visit the forest that too at such a time. The next best thing is a visit to a verdant zoo where the animals are not confined in small cages - such as the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur. This is the right time to catch a glimpse of rain and animals.

Wear a rain coat and ensure that other members of the family do too. Carry light snacks and go around the zoo and you are closest to seeing the animals in their natural environment. The lush green environment and the micro climate prevailing inside will surely make the visitor's trip memorable. Another speciality is that unlike the city roads there is no water logging anywhere inside.

Normally during Saturdays and Sundays more than 1,000 people visit the zoo, but with the rains lashing the city and its suburbs, there is not much of a crowd.

Soon after entering the zoo, the visitors can see the chimpanzees - Victor and Tuntun (female) happily playing on the trees, slowly walking on top of the small shed, responding to the call of the animal keeper and enjoying the rains; grazing of antelopes, a group of Sangai deer feeding, sambar deer eagerly watching those heading to see the lone tiger sitting under a tree, the birds in the aviary waving off the water from their wings with vigorous flapping and the panther silently hiding in a corner of the enclosure - all certainly thrills for the children.

Even before the start of monsoon, the cleaning up of all the drainage channels in the zoo was taken up by the authorities. Following the heavy rains during the past one week, a couple of persons have been entrusted the work of cleaning all the clogged up channels. They move around the zoo premises with a spade and a stick work to remove silt, says the Zoo Director P.C. Tyagi.

A new drain was constructed for the Crocodile pond due to which there is no water stagnation at the place. Earlier, whenever it rains heavily, large quantity of water used to stagnate, posing a threat to the visitors. But with the creation of new drains, the water no longer stagnates, says Mr. Tyagi. The authorities are drawing up a new plan to connect the drains of all the recently constructed enclosures to the main sewer line, which will allow the water to easily join the drainage line.

Last year an oxidation pond and new drains were created in the lion safari area. Already there is one oxidation pond inside the zoo and creation of the new pond will surely attract a large number of migratory birds, which visit the Vedanthangal birds sanctuary, adds Mr. Tyagi. Apart from this two oxidation ponds are there in the Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre located close to the zoo.

In an attempt to check the health condition of the herbivores, a `krawl' (small area fenced with logs) has been created inside their enclosures. At present the feed is kept at the `krawl' and a veterinarian sits near the `krawl' to observe the health condition of the animals. If one of them is found to be sick or injured, immediately the treatment is provided to it, says the Zoo Biologist, A. Manimozhi. The authorities have also taken some measure to reduce the herbivore population by segregating the stags from the group. The separation effort will yield results which will be visible next year, adds he.

By Oppili P.

Photo: N. Balaji

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