Thiruvananthapuram: As the mercury soars, the authorities of the Zoo are going all out to take care of the birds and animals.
The menu that has been drawn up will make you feel jealous. The menu is replete with fruits and vegetables like grape, apple, orange, pineapple, carrot and cucumber. The summer food regulations and preventive mechanisms enable the animals to stay fresh in front of visitors even in this debilitating heat. Even though vegetarian food dominates, the food is generally of a superior quality. Those animals that cannot take the cold conditions are provided with coolers and AC's in their pens.
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The Himalayan bear's menu
The Himalayan bear is one of the animals that is given a special diet. The bear is fed with fresh fruits available in the market. And twice a day he is fed fruits and vegetables that has been frozen in huge refrigerators; at 9.30 am and 3 pm. Apart from ice blocks the Himalayan bear is fed grapes, boiled eggs, cucumber, milk and ragi gruel.
For the meat eaters
Summer has not affected the food habits of the lion, tiger and leopard living here. They are still fed meat. Lion is fed 8 kg and lioness 7 kg meat. The tigers are fed the same quantity. White tiger however needs 10 kg meat daily. Leopard needs only 2.5 kg.
Rhino's special bath
The authorities have built a new swimming pool for the rhinoceros. So now, the rhino can frolic in two pools, one muddy and the other fresh through the day. More fruits and vegetables are also being fed to it.
AC for the anaconda
As temperature soars, the authorities have provided A/C accommodation to two denizens of the zoos used to cold conditions, the gigantic Anaconda and the king of snakes Cobra. Air conditioners have been installed in both their rooms, making them live in five star hotel luxury. Food arrives in the form of hens, guinea pigs and rabbits.
A treat for Ostrich and Emu
Ostrich and Emu prefer spinach and carrot in the summer. These are what they are abundantly fed as well, sliced into thin, small pieces. The feeding is done twice a day.
There are no major food regulations for deer, monkeys and birds even in summer. It is just that their quota of fruits has been increased. Deer are mainly fed grains and jackfruit tree leaves. For the monkeys it is guava, papaya, orange, banana, plantain banana, etc. the birds are fed fruits, almond, groundnut, thina, sunflower seeds, etc.
Usual diet goes like this
Apart from the summer food, these are the food regularly given to the nearly 700 birds and animals in the zoo are: sprouted pulses, gram and cottonseed, grains. Birds are fed thina as well. This is usual menu for birds like neelakala, barasinka and other varieties.
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The animals in the zoo are on a bathing spree. Even though water is filled in the small ponds in the cages of lion, tiger, leopard, etc, the staff is busy giving all of them baths several times a day. The staff members vouch that the animals obediently comply, given the heat.
Vitamins, minerals and glucose
Vitamins and minerals are mixed with the food apart from giving fruits and vegetables. This is done to avoid the animals from feeling fatigued. Glucose is also provided. This is served along with everybody’s menu.
Coolers are on
Fans and coolers are installed in the cages of animals and birds. This is to get them a respite from the heat. Birds are given coolers while animals get fans most of the time.