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Check out hot new arrivals at Delhi Zoo (April)

It's one of the best times to visit the zoo before the heat is truly on. Delhi's National Zoological Park has several new arrivals even as it gears up for the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums conference later in November. Black swans, a variety of pheasants, bonnet macaques, the brahminy kite, ostriches and a jaguar-all from Thiruvananthapuram Zoo-are the latest additions while two Royal Bengal tigers from Van Vihar National Park in Bhopal and one Royal Bengal tiger cub from Mysore zoo had arrived last month.

 

The Delhi zoo is sending blue bulls, barking deer, albino black bucks, painted storks, white ibises and red jungle fowls to Thiruvananthapuram zoo in exchange for the fauna. For facelift, apart from erecting new signage and landscaping, the zoo will make the elephant enclosure bigger so that the largest land animal has more space to itself. "Central Zoo Authority is supporting them by allocating some more land for the enclosure from the adjacent space. Some vacant primate enclosures are, meanwhile, being converted for small carnivores," Brij Kishor Gupta, Evaluation and Monitoring Officer, Central Zoo Authority, said.

 

The common palm civet, a small cat, has just settled in having come from Darjeeling zoo recently. "Many enclosures were vacant. We also did not have the right gender ratio. The new arrivals are going to balance that. They are now going to be the new attractions for visitors," Riaz Khan, zoo curator (education), said. Meanwhile, the zoo staff is preparing for a scorching summer. Many animals from colder climes like Himalayan bears need special cooling measures. Large animals are lavishly sprayed with water several times a day-some are given coolers while pools and moats within enclosures are filled with water. Cages covered with green nets for shade are soaked in water. Routine changes to diet are made every year-carnivores get less meat while herbivores are fed seasonal fruits including melons and cucumbers. Some are given oral rehydration salts.

 

Times of India, Delhi, Thursday 17th April 2014