Chennai: Braving the searing oppressive heat, the sprawling Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP) at suburban Vandalur, called as Vandalur Zoo, here is one of the most preferred destinations for all.
Being the summer vacation, it was quite natural that there would be increase in footfalls. With Chennai reeling under ‘Kathiri’ (peak summer) animals and birds are among the most affected in the heat.
While the ones in their natural habitat could adapt to the weather, the animals in zoos and other man-made places usually find it difficult.
The zoo authorities have put in place various measures to ensure that the animals are not affected by the intense heat wave conditions. Even the visitors are ensured that there is enough space to relax .
The zoo’s summer management activities started in the first week of April and would continue till the end of June.
The zoo had been closed for a couple of months after it suffered heavy damage, including uprooting of thousands of trees in the spacious campus, when cyclone Vardah hit the coast.
”The zoo had witnessed maximum damage during the cyclone and in the last four months, we have tried our best to clear the debris and uprooted trees and fix the damaged animal enclosures”, sources said. ”So, this time, unlike previous years, the heat is quite excessive inside the zoo.”
”We are undertaking various measures to make the animals feel better. We have built shelters at many places inside the animal enclosures. These sheds have water for the animals and will also provide shelter after they finish grazing”, the sources added.
The zoo authorities have also tied sacks around bird cages and spray them continuously with water. This will keep the cages cool even when the sun is at its peak.
For carnivores inside closed structures, the entire structure was closed with shade nets. These nets not only allow better ventilation, but would keep the ambience cool.
Elephants are being given shower baths on a regular basis to beat the heat. To ensure that the health of the animals is maintained, the authorities have increased the fruit and vegetable intake for them.