Winter is here! | Heaters to keep animals warm at Patna zoo

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With mercury plummeting in the state capital, several measures are being taken at Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, commonly known as Patna zoo, to safeguard the animals from winter chills.

Zoo authorities said animals are being provided blankets, straw and hay beds and vitamin supplements. At least 22 new room heaters are being used for warming up the enclosures and night houses of the zoo inmates.

The heaters have been placed at the night houses of all carnivorous animals, especially the cat family, including tigers, lions and leopards. Their night houses have also been provided with beds made of wooden plank and, straw and hay.

Apart from their regular diet, all lions and tigers are being fed two kilograms of chicken and one kilogram of liver in the breakfast. Besides, special attention is being given to old and those animals which are in their breeding season.

 “The winter arrived early this year. It normally arrives in the first week of December. However, the dip in mercury started from mid-November this year. A sudden sharp drop in the mercury column is being observed from past two to three days. Moreover, the temperature inside the zoo is normally 3-5 degrees C less than the city temperature. Accordingly, we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure sound health of animals under winter conditions,” said Nand Kishor, director at Patna zoo. Considering the onset of winter season, the winter timing has also been made effective at the zoo. The zoo now opens at 6am and closes at 5pm, one hour earlier than the summer timing.
“We have covered the ventilators of night houses of all animals with straw so as to block cold air. Though most snakes have gone in hibernation mode, blankets and bulbs of 200 watts covered with steel have been provided in the snake house. Bulbs have been put up at the aviaries too,” said Nand Kishor.
All old animals are being provided with food supplements, warmer beds and preventive antibiotics to prevent ailments under extreme cold conditions.
 Deliberating on the winter special diet being provided to the zoo animals, a veterinarian at the zoo said, “All carnivorous animals are being given two kg extra meat. The daily dose of beef to the members of the cat family has been increased from 83 kg to 96 kg due to the winters.
Source: TOI

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