Bengaluru's oppressive heat: Water sprinklers help animals in Bannerghatta zoo cool off

Bengaluru is going through a heat wave and severe water shortage, how best do the animals cope?

Janaki Murali April 25, 2016 17:45:41 IST

Summer holidays means a visit to the local zoo with the children. But, Bengaluru is going through a heat wave and severe water shortage, how best do the animals cope? On Monday, the city recorded its highest temperature.

The heat has not deterred the visitors, especially children, to the popular Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bengaluru. Some 2000 to 3000 and (7000 during the weekends) visit the zoo every day. But not to worry, the zoo authorities are ensuring that that there is enough water for the animals to stay cool in the hottest ever summer in Bengaluru.

Bengalurus oppressive heat Water sprinklers help animals in Bannerghatta zoo cool off

A mobile water tanker in the zoo dedicated to keeping the animals hydrated in the oppressive heat. Firstpost/Janaki Murali

Bengalurus oppressive heat Water sprinklers help animals in Bannerghatta zoo cool off

The Marmoset Monkey at the Bannerghatta zoo in Bengaluru. Firstpost/Janaki Murali

The zoo, situated in some 160 acres of land, has four lakes, of which one has dried up and three bore-wells, of which one has dried up. “But we have sufficient groundwater, we still have 19 old bore-wells we can tap,” says Santosh Kumar, the Chief Conservator of Forests and Executive Director of the Bannerghatta Biological Park.

Bengalurus oppressive heat Water sprinklers help animals in Bannerghatta zoo cool off

Water sprinklers in the Iguana enclosure help the reptile cool off. Firstpost/Janaki Murali

Santosh Kumar says, “Bengaluru never used to be so hot, the zoos in Chennai, Mangalore, Mysore and Kanpur have all installed water sprinklers in the animal enclosures to keep them cool. We don’t have them yet, but we are now planning to install them. As of now, we manually spray the animals with water to keep them cool. This is especially done for the big animals like the tigers, leopards and elephants.”

Bengalurus oppressive heat Water sprinklers help animals in Bannerghatta zoo cool off

The Bengal tiger has found itself a cool spot. Firstpost/Janaki Murali

Bengalurus oppressive heat Water sprinklers help animals in Bannerghatta zoo cool off

Spotted deer in the zoo. Firstpost/Janaki Murali

Bengalurus oppressive heat Water sprinklers help animals in Bannerghatta zoo cool off

Crocodiles decide to cool off in the waters. Firstpost/Janaki Murali

Assistant director and head of the veterinary team, Dr Manjunatha V, adds, “We spray water on the animals twice a day. We have already installed sprinklers in the king cobra and iguana enclosures. We have stopped watering the lanes and reduced watering of the plants and trees. We have also turned off the fountain. We are preserving all the water for the animals.”

Bengalurus oppressive heat Water sprinklers help animals in Bannerghatta zoo cool off

There is abundant water in the Pelican enclosure. Firstpost/Janaki Murali

Bengalurus oppressive heat Water sprinklers help animals in Bannerghatta zoo cool off

A hippopotamus feeds before heading for the water. Firstpost/Janaki Murali

Bengalurus oppressive heat Water sprinklers help animals in Bannerghatta zoo cool off

A leopard cub sniffs the nutrient ice cube. Firstpost/Janaki Murali

“We feed ice cubes from ice trays for the smaller animals. But for the bigger animals, chains are frozen along with the ice bars and these are tied to tree branches in the enclosures,” adds Manjunatha, just in case you were wondering how they do it.

Bengalurus oppressive heat Water sprinklers help animals in Bannerghatta zoo cool off

A monkey eats the 'nutrient ice-cube'. Firstpost/Janaki Murali

The animals are also being given nutrients and glucose in ice cubes to keep them cool. The herbivores get watermelons, bananas along with their glucose, iron, calcium and vitamin supplements in their ice cubes, while the carnivores get beef along with their nutrients in their ice cubes.

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