Beating The Heat: Pools, Water Showers, Fans Installed For Animals At Assam State Zoo
GUWAHATI: With the mercury level on the rise, the authorities at the Assam State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden have taken a slew of measures to enable the animals to cope with the heat and remain safe in the zoo.
The temperature in Guwahati recently increased up to as high as 38 degree Celsius. Informing about the precautions being taken in the zoo, Tejas Mariswamy, the zoo’s Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) informed G Plus, “The summer heat seems to have taken a tragic turn this year. In such hot weather, keeping the animals hydrated becomes necessary. Hence, precautions have been taken. Water showers, bamboo sheds, pools, fans inside the shelter house have been provided for the zoo animals.”
Some animal species are more sensitive to heat than others. Bears, tigers and other cat species have thick fur and thus, are most affected by the heat. Authorities of the zoo have identified these species and then planned the measures to be taken.
For tigers, shade platforms made of bamboo sheets have been created so that the temperature of the shelter houses is reduced. Two bath pools have also been built and pedestal fans have been installed in the shelters for all tigers and lions.
For thick fur species like bears, special water showers have been installed so that the animals can drench themselves whenever they feel the heat.
Besides this, for all other species, structures to provide shade have been built and for small birds, wooden boxes have been set up where they can rest in shade. The fencing of water loving animals such as crocodiles and hippos is filled up with water regularly so that they can get into the water during hot weather.
Further, birds are showered frequently so that they stay hydrated and there is no change in their behaviour.
Aparajita Borbora, Public Relations Officer at the Assam State Zoo, told G Plus that the zoo authorities are taking adequate measures to ensure that animals remain comfortable in spite of the rising heat.
“Our veterinarians have been taking care of the animals round the clock. Sufficient water mixed with ORS is being given to the animals to keep them hydrated and save them from heat-stroke. We also monitor for any animal falling sick due to the hot weather,” informed Borbora.
Located in the Hengrabari Reserve Forest area in Guwahati, the Assam State Zoo is home to over 1,000 birds and animals belonging to 107 different species. Apart from tigers, lions, bears, monkeys and deer, the zoo houses, within its confines, some exotic species like hippopotamus, macaw and gaboon viper (one of the most poisonous snakes in the world) too.
Doctors at the veterinary hospital informed G Plus that there has been no case of animal death due to heat this year. In the previous years, however, there have been cases of animals falling sick during summers, and as a result, developing severe health issues and sometimes, even dying.
Assam State Zoo entry tickets available online
The Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden launched a portal on August 20 to allow visitors to purchase entry tickets for the zoo online.
The tickets can be purchased at https://zoo.forestassam.net using any form of online payment methods. It is to be mentioned that there is no change in the price of tickets.
According to zoo authorities, increase in footfall of visitors cropped up the need to introduce the web portal. With everything going digital, this initiative was undertaken keeping the same in mind.
A zoo official informed G Plus that the Assam State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden receives an average footfall of 15,000-20,000 visitors a month and the online portal has been launched for the convenience of visitors.
It should be noted that if visitors purchase the e-ticket, they will have to bring a soft copy or printout of their ticket to the zoo for entry. They can download their ticket from the portal and it will also be emailed to them.
Other new initiatives are also being taken up by the zoo authorities to make the zoo lively. The zoo has acquired tall trees from nearby nurseries to keep the atmosphere inside cool. Two bio-toilets and a water ATM are being erected by Guwahati Smart City Limited to serve tourists. Additionally, works on underground electricity as well as road constructions are currently underway.
Infrastructural developments are also being looked into. The zoo is coming up with a new walk-through aviary and animal enclosures. The zoo is looking to acquire more charismatic mammals like giraffe and zebra by the end of the year and aims to catch up to the standards of the Mysore Zoo by the end of 2020.