THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The newly-renovated snake exhibit area in the City Zoo was inaugurated on Wednesday, but some of its work is yet to be over. The good news is that all snakes, except the seven green anacondas, have been shifted to their new homes and have settled in. What do they know about the clamour in store, that might disturb their quiet. Oh we forget, they are deaf.
The enclosures for anacondas look barren, not just because they don’t have any inhabitants. The concrete models of trees inside these are yet to be painted, the pits are yet to be filled with sand.
On the roof of every enclosure, there are grill vents, meant to stream in sunlight. (Snakes, like human beings, need the sun to create Vitamin D). But if the vents are not covered before June’s rain, some of the snakes like the Russel’s Viper might suffer from scale rot. The zoo plans to install glass roofs, which will protect the enclosures from the rains.
Thermometers will be installed in each enclosure. These will inform the zoo keeper of the rise and fall in mercury. Accordingly, the keeper can then operate high-power fans, which are about to be placed outside the grill windows of the enclosures. With quite a lot left to do, some might ask ‘So what’s new?’ The jungle theme inside the zoo, say zoo authorities. The Museums and Zoos Minister P K Jayalakshmi, while inaugurating the new exhibit area, said, “The new exhibit area has 3D artworks as well as painted roofs and walls. The snake’s enclosures resemble their original habitats.”
K Muraleedharan MLA, who presided over the function, and Cultural Affairs Secretary Rani George were all praise for the new theme, which intends to simulate a walk through jungle.
The zoo has indeed put its best foot forward in enriching the exhibit area. However, up close, the sprucing up doesn’t look half as real, as was promised to be. The painting of the tropical jungle on the walls looked exactly that: a painting. Some of the seasoned zoo visitors commented that the design in the snake enclosures is the same as it was before. Well, the snakes didn’t seem to mind, as their original habitats were successfully approximated.