SAMBALPUR: WITH temperature hovering around 42 degree Celsius, authorities of Wild Animal Conservation Centre (WACC), Sambalpur, better known as Deer Park, have initiated several measures to protect the wild animals from the sweltering heat.
WACC authorities have already constructed summer sheds for the wild animals and birds to protect them from the scorching heat. Paddy straws have been placed over the roofs of the sheds. Besides, sacks and green nets are being used to protect the animals from the heat wave. The concrete floors of the enclosures are also being washed twice daily.
This apart, the authorities have also started sprinkling water in the enclosures to provide some relief to the animals. Forest Range Officer, Sambalpur Wildlife Range Aswini Padhi said watermelon, sugarcane and papaya are being served to the herbivorous animals to protect them from heat-related stress. Adequate Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) are also being served to the animals and birds, he said.
In view of the rising temperature, the visiting hours of WACCA have been changed. Currently, the visitors are being allowed to visit the centre between 7 am and 12 noon and 4 pm and 6.30 pm. Earlier, the visiting time was between 8 am and 1 pm and 3 pm and 5.30 pm, Padhi said.
Apart from making arrangements for the wild animals, WACC authorities have also made arrangements for visitors, who have been visiting the facility in large numbers despite the scorching heat. Provisions of cold drinking water have been made for the visitors, he said.
The Wild Animal Conservation Centre, spread over 13.16 hectare amidst Motijharan Reserve Forest, is home to 262 animals and 17 species of birds.
Wild animals, including leopard, spotted deer, four-horned antelope, barking deer, sloth bear, monkey, civet cat, python, peacock and a number of exotic birds are lodged in the centre, which has attained the status of small zoo. The centre witnesses footfall of around 1.4 lakh visitors annually.