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100-watt bulbs to keep animals warm in zoo
Published on 24 Jan. 2011 11:34 PM IST
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While Bangaloreans have been doing what they can to stay warm the last few weeks, animals at the Bannerghatta National Park are also being tended to by the park officials. With the temperature dropping to a minimum of 12.6 C this month, forest officials have taken to illuminating cages to keep the animals warm in a bid to fight the cold weather.
B C Chittiappa, assistant director (Vet Services) at Bannerghatta National Park, said, “They must be suffering like us. The lighting is not the most convenient, but the preference is towards the warmth. Nocturnal animals such as civet cats and even reptiles that prefer to be warm are provided with enclosure and rooms.”
He added, “Since we are not rich enough to provide room heaters on the budget allocated to us, we have to use these normal 100 watt bulbs.” A K Varma, principal chief conservator of forest, said, “This is the usual technique for keeping chicks and other small animals warm. Anything done on a temporary basis will not have any adverse long term affects. When it’s too hot, fans are also used to keep the animals cool. This is just a temporary fix.”
Complete waste
Sharath Babu H, Honorary wildlife warden, said, “It’s a complete waste. It makes no sense at all. I do not subscribe to this idea at all.” S Karthikayan, jungle lodges chief naturalist, said, “It should not be a problem during the day. For reptiles it shouldn’t matter at all. But it may not be a good thing at all especially for cats.
Much depends on the sort of light used. Since the enclosure is fairly well-lit, the animals will have to resort to tucking their heads under their paws.” C H Vijay Shankar, Minister of Forest, was unavailable for comments.

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