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Animals at Mumbai’s Byculla Zoo kept cool with water ponds and ice amid heat wave

To keep the animals cool in the summer season, the heritage Byculla Zoo has provided ponds for them to bathe and relax

One of India’s oldest zoos, Mumbai’s Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udhyan also called Byculla Zoo is leaving no stone unturned to make the animals and birds comfortable during this hot summer season. The Zoo is managed by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

Apart from cooling the environs of the Zoo, the authorities have curated a special menu which includes popsicles to iced meat cakes.

Talking to the media, Dr. Sanjay Tripathi, Zoo Director informed that with the temperature increasing, animals need cool spaces and their diet also needs tweaking to beat the heat. To do this, he added, they are being fed popsicles made using seasonal fruits and iced meat cakes.

The popsicles are a big hit with animals especially the monkeys. The fruit extracts are churned and jaggery is mixed in it to make a syrup. This is frozen in paper cups with an ice cream stick. The frozen product is then given to the animals.

For the carnivores, the authorities offer them iced meat cakes during their weekly enrichment. During this exercise which is a weekly routine the meat is hidden and hung on the tree to encourage animals to stretch and fetch food, something which they do in their natural environs.

Sharing details, an official said that instead of feeding warm raw meat, the frozen one is offered. At times they are turned into ice cakes in which a little bit of blood is added. This is loved by the hyenas and tigers.

Apart from this to counter the rising heat, multivitamins and mineral supplements have also been introduced in the diet of reptiles, mammals and birds. In the case of deer, it is fed by mixing it in their diet of concentrate mixture while for monkeys and carnivores it is added to their water trough.

To make them comfortable, the Zoo has created water ponds and shaded areas in different places. The birds find the ground level water pond enjoyable, wetting their feathers and having a bath. Elephants and others enjoy taking a dip to cool in the water.

The animals are being bathed and sprayed with water twice a day.

Animals are kept outside in the shade and when it becomes too hot, they move to the enclosures to find shelter from the heat.

In many enclosures fans have been installed like that of birds.

Meanwhile the three new Humboldt penguin chicks – two females and one male – are being kept in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment. The penguins numbering 15 are doing well and fed sardines, Bombay ducks and mackerels.

Also read: Newborn tiger cubs and penguin chicks are star attractions at Mumbai heritage zoo