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Assam Zoo's summer menu keeps animals cool

With 1,277 animals, including 181 exotic species and 1,096 indigenous species, the zoo is leaving no stone unturned to cater to the dietary needs of its diverse residents.

News Arena Network - Guwahati - UPDATED: May 16, 2024, 06:06 AM - 3 mins read

Image for representative use only.

Assam Zoo's summer menu keeps animals cool

Image for representative use only.


The soaring temperatures in Guwahati have prompted a delightful change for the residents of the Assam State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden.

 

A team of experts has devised a summer diet plan to keep the zoo's inhabitants cool and comfortable.

With 1,277 animals, including 181 exotic species and 1,096 indigenous species, the zoo is leaving no stone unturned to cater to the dietary needs of its diverse residents.

 

"Summer can be a real challenge for our animals," explained Ashwini Kumar, DFO of the Assam State Zoo.

"They become lethargic and tire easily. Our primary goal is to keep them hydrated and prevent any discomfort," he added.

 

To achieve this, the zoo has convened a dedicated committee of experts. This panel meticulously revises the animals' dietary needs each year, crafting a customised plan to meet their specific requirements.

 

"We've placed a special emphasis on incorporating seasonal fruits and vegetables," Kumar elaborated. 

 

"These help to cool their digestive systems and provide essential hydration," he said.

 

The zoo's diverse population, encompassing everything from majestic mammals to exotic birds and fascinating reptiles, enjoys a lavish selection of nutritious meals.

 

The seven macaws, for instance, typically receive a daily allotment of nuts (50g walnuts, 15g almonds, and 50g sunflower seeds) alongside fruits like mangoes and apples. However, with the mercury rising, these vibrant birds will now be treated to refreshing electrolyte popsicles.

 

The zoo's solitary kangaroo, accustomed to a diet of 1kg hydroponic grass, 300g long beans, 50g soybean flake, and 500g carrots, will be introduced to a summer bounty of juicy fruits.

 

Mousambis (sweet limes), pears, watermelons, and apples will be added to its menu, providing a welcome burst of hydration and essential vitamins.

 

Similar adjustments are being made for the zoo's herbivores, including sambhars, serows, and deer.

 

Their usual fare of wheat bran, bengal gram, mustard oil cake, and moong dal will be supplemented with refreshing fruits like cucumbers, papayas, and berries.

 

These additions will help to combat the dangers of heatstroke and dehydration.

 

The zoo's two orangutans, intelligent and social creatures, will continue to enjoy a diet rich in variety.

 

Their daily menu includes 50g beans, two bananas, 200g each of papaya and guava, 200g beetroot, a length of sugarcane, and 150g of sweet lemon.

 

To further ensure their well-being during the hot months, the zookeepers will provide them with electrolyte-enhanced water.

 

Dr. Panchami Sharma, a senior veterinary officer at the zoo, shed light on the rationale behind the dietary changes.

 

"We've significantly increased the amount of seasonal fruits and vegetables in the animals' diets," she explained.

 

She further added, "These items are high in water content, which is crucial for staying cool and hydrated." 

 

Dr. Sharma noted that watermelons, mangoes, and apples will be offered not just as whole fruits, but also in juice form, providing a delightful and hydrating beverage option.

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