The City Zoo is all set to step up its fight against various pathogens that could claim the lives of the inmates. Be it visitors or employees, right from the Zoo Director to cage-keepers, all can reach various enclosures only after stepping into disinfectant-filled dips at various points.
As many as four dips for the visitors, at the entrances and exits of the zoo and the complex, and a separate one for the employees near the zoo office have been set up as part of the efforts to check the spread of the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), now reported from all around the state, on the zoo premises. These foot dips are meant even for vehicles entering the premises.
Earlier, back in 2007, the authorities here had constructed a foot dip at the zoo entrance in the wake of the FMD outbreak then.
The foot dips have been installed to prevent the FMD virus from entering the zoo or spreading to areas outside through the footwear of visitors. According to the zoo officials, a thick mat is placed inside the rectangular foot dip that is filled with a disinfectant solution.
The visitors can enter the complex only by stepping on the foot dip. When one steps on this mat, the disinfectants will come into contact with the soles of the footwear and destroy the bacteria or virus in the soles. This method of sterilisation is effective against many diseases and not just against the FMD virus alone.
The zoo officials are ensuring that all necessary steps are taken to prevent the spread of FMD in the zoo and museum complex. As part of these measures, visitors are restricted from the enclosures of cloven hoofed animals, including buffalo, sambar etc. According to the Zoo Superintendent Sadasivan Pillai, roads to the enclosures of such animals have been blocked. “We have also sprinkled washing soda in and around the cages of all animals. Special care is given to the deer family,” he said.
As per the recommendations made by an expert panel months ago, foot dips have also been constructed in the deer enclosure so that the animals can feed only by standing inside the dip which is filled with disinfectant. “This will help the deer population from contracting any disease. The chances of the deer getting affected are high as they are more in number,” said Sadasivan Pillai.
Other than all these precautions, the officials have also started serving the animals with chicken rather than beef. As the FMD is an airborne disease the zoo officials are taking extra care.