HYDERABAD: Is fasting good for health? “Yes,” many dietitians and nutritionists are emphatic about it. Extended, it even applies to birds and animals. Veterinary doctors say if animals at zoological parks are made to fast for one day in a week it will be good for their dietary system. So, on Friday, all the mammals, birds and reptiles at the three zoological parks in the state were put on fasting mode.
And, this is only the beginning.
At the zoological parks in Hyderabad, Tirupati and Visakhapatnam, about 3,200 animals of 150 species were kept on 'effective fasting' on Friday, Dr P Srinivasa Reddy, veterinary assistant surgeon at Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad, said.
“We are following the diet rules prescribed by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) for mammals, birds and reptiles lodged at zoological parks across the country.” He said the fasting system was introduced in, 2003 but not followed regularly.
Sometimes, one meal is provided to the animals on Fridays.
“Now, proper diet rules are being implemented effectively from this Friday for all zoo animals,” he added.
On fasting days, only pregnant and lactate animals and their babies will be given food. Sick animals will be given medicine and light food and there is no fasting for small birds which are very sensitive, Reddy said.
BEATING THE HEAT
To ensure comfort for animals during this summer, the three zoological parks in the state have put in place several measures. Apart from arranging air-coolers, foggers and sprinklers, regular topping of moats is being done.
The aviary gets special attention and the birds are given cooler environs by using grass.
“We have thunga grass spread over bird cages, which is watered regularly to keep the temperature down,” Reddy said.
Where tigers and other mammals are kept, sprinklers have been installed.
For the deer, wild boar and tortoise, there are watery and muddy wallowing points in which the animals can roll around and escape heat. In the reptile house, foggers throw water regularly in a pattern creating mist to bring down the temperature.
Nehru Zoological Park has installed 150 sprinklers, 12 air-coolers and 80 foggers.