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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Zoo beats heat with ‘cool’ arrangements

The air-conditioned confines of shopping malls would soon give way to Patna zoo as the park authorities are going all out to woo visitors with some “cool” arrangements.

Water coolers and purifiers have been installed at different points on the premises. The authorities have also extended the visiting time by an hour so that people can enjoy the evening breeze for longer duration.

Friends, families and couples would not be the only ones to benefit from the facilities as measures are being taken to provide relief to the animals as well. Fans have been put up near the animal enclosures to cut down the heat.

Patna zoo director Abhay Kumar said: “We have installed four water coolers and four water purifiers at eight different locations. Visitors do not need to carry water anymore.” Abhay told The Telegraph: “Visitors can now spend more time in the zoo. Instead of 5pm, the zoo will now remain open till 6 in the evening. This step has been taken as people avoid venturing out in summer afternoons. Now they would be able to take a walk around the zoo in the evening.”

However, one can buy tickets only till 5.30pm, Abhay added. The coolers and purifiers have been installed at gate number 1, 2, near the water park, the toy train station, the snake house, the ghariyal and peacock enclosures and the aquarium.

“Apart from these facilities, visitors can also use bicycles, avail the toy train and drive around in battery-operated golf carts,” said Abhay.

“During summer, the percentage of visitors plummets but these initiatives will help increase the footfall. The boating facility, too, will add relief,” said the zoo director.

Adequate steps have also been taken to protect the animals from heat.

Abhay said: “Shades made of straws are being placed over the cages. These are kept cool by spraying water. Fans have been installed inside the tiger, lion, leopard and bear enclosures. We will also install coolers near the cages if the mercury soars.”

The zoo director added: “We have installed sprinklers inside the animal and bird cages. Arrangements have been made to ensure drinking water to protect the animals from dehydration.”

“During summer, the animals get annoyed very fast because of the heat. We make sure they get enough water to drink. Glucose is provided to the carnivores and fruits like watermelon are given to the herbivorous animals.”