New deal for zoo deer

Will the Sambar get a more verdant enclosure at Vandalur?

Will the Sambar get a more verdant enclosure at Vandalur?  

THE SAMBAR enclosure in the Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP), Vandalur, is one, which draws many visitors to watch the beautiful deer for long periods. There has been no wall around this enclosure from the start and those heading for the tiger and lion catch a glimpse of these deer almost in the open.

Now the authorities have taken up the work of putting up a contour wall around the enclosure and earth-filling work has also been taken up. A few saplings are being planted inside, says the AAZP Director, P.C. Tyagi to improve the ambience. Work has also been taken up to deepen the moat. New hedges are being created with standoff barricade around it. With the provision of new contour wall and deepened moat, the enclosure will have a natural forest look, says Mr. Tyagi.

Next in the line for improvements is the hippopotamus enclosure. At present, the young male hippo brought from the Basel Zoo, Switzerland, has a habit of placing its legs on the side portions of the wall. This has created a risk of the animal getting injured. Hence, the height of the wall is being increased. The male and female hippos will be released into one enclosure.

A partition will be created in the existing enclosure, which will allow both the animals to spend their time in the water. Moreover, the partition will help in reducing the water consumption in the enclosure, say officials. The water treatment plant, which is not functioning now will be repaired and put to use very soon. The functioning of the treatment plant is necessary, as the water from the hippo enclosure has to be cleaned at least once in five days, as the animal defecates in water.

Once the treatment plant is ready, the water from the hippo enclosure will be cleaned regularly, says Mr. Tyagi. After the rainy season, works such as grass cutting, pruning the bushes and adding few more enrichments to the enclosures have been taken up, says he.

For the first time, water-auditing work is scheduled to be launched in the zoo. Information such as inflow of water into the zoo, pressure of water at various points, and the actual requirement of water for each enclosure will be studied.

The study will help in conserving the water, optimum utilisation and less wastage of water, add the zoo authorities.

By Oppili P.

Photo: N. Balaji

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