April 15, 2016
It is common knowledge that animals feel the heat more than humans. So, it is essential that they are provided additional / supplementary resources to beat the heat. A visit to the Coimbatore zoo reveals that it is lacking even in the most basic requirements. With soaring temperatures and absence of a Zoo Director, the fate of the 600 species hangs in balance.
Zoo sources say they add fruits like watermelon, apple, orange, guava, and carrot to the diet at least in one meal. For the carnivores, beef is provided weekly once.
To beat the heat, they spray water inside the cages to keep the animals cool. Out of all the animals, the emu birds have the least ability to bear the heat. But there is no sun shade for them. The oldest species in the zoo is a camel which is 25 years.
T. Kanagaraj, a visitor from Annur, says: “There are more animals and less birds, hence maintenance should be done more effectively.”
S. Thanasai from the Reserve Police, Manipur, a regular visitor said: “There is no change here. One gets to see the same animals in the same environment. Development initiatives like a facelift, overall painting, a tiled pathway, food court, and hygienic washroom facilities will make it more welcoming for the public.”
“There are lesser animals compared to the past years”, he adds.
Deepak Nair, a breeder in Coimbatore, says: “Corporates can sponsor for zoo expansion. Due to space constraint infrastructure could not be developed. It would be better if the zoo is shifted to the suburbs. This way exotic birds and animals can be brought in.”
The current development works going on at the zoo is changing the broken cages, laying of underground power cable for the water, etc. Further development of the zoo is expected to be taken up after the election.
The absence of a Zoo Director for more than year has not helped in any way. There is no dedicated authority to initiate activities with regard to the changes pertaining to summer. This is not only going to take a toll on the animals and birds in the zoo, but also on the number visiting.