New Delhi: With the onset of winters, authorities at the Delhi Zoo have undertaken several measures, including installation of heaters and change in diet, to help the inmates cope with plummeting temperatures.
Wooden platforms, curtains and heaters have been put up in enclosures of lions, tigers, jaguars to keep them warm at night, authorities said.
"Several arrangements such as heaters, wooden platforms, blankets and beds of chaff have been provided to animals," zoo curator (education) Riyaz Khan said.
Even as the minimum temperature in the national capital continues to remain above normal, species like gibbons and chimpanzees have been provided with blankets along with chaff beds and straw to help keep them warm.
"Chaff beds and straw mattresses keep the animals warm and they can also eat the straw while resting on the beds. Arrangements are in place to provide more straw as temperatures dip," he said.
In several animal enclosures, other than wooden platforms, high voltage bulbs have been put in place to keep environs warm.
To avoid cold air, curtains and nets have been put up in open enclosures, such as those of bears, to avoid cases of illness, he said.
During winters, animals tend to become inactive and therefore, the authorities have already put in place swings for monkeys, food baskets for deer species, logs of wood for elephants, among others, for recreational purposes.
Significant changes have also been made in the diet of animals which tend to consume less amount of water during winters.
"To substitute for the reduced water intake, we provide animals with glucose," said Khan.
Carnivores such as lion, tiger, and panthers are provided with more meat as the meat intake usually goes up by one-two kg per animal. Similarly, hippopotamus and deer are provided with fruits, especially gooseberry (amla), he added.
To help keep the birds warm, they are fed with sunflower seeds while elephants and rhinoceros are provided food made in mustard oil, which keeps body warm in winters.
According to authorities, the zoo veterinary department is taking special measures to take care of aged animals and treat cases of fever, which are most common during winters.