KARACHI: Animals at the city zoo and Safari Park have been suffering since Saturday due to the intense heatwave that claimed four more lives at the zoo on Tuesday.
According to sources, the death toll from the heatwave has increased to seven with the death of an ostrich, a nilgai and two deer at the zoo where earlier a peacock, a peahen and a deer had died reportedly from dehydration and heatstroke.
No zoo official was available for comment.
At the Safari Park, a black buck and a fawn died from heatstroke in recent days. “It was an adult female black buck while the fallow deer fawn was two weeks old,” said Dr Kazim Hussain, serving as senior vet and additional director at Safari, while confirming to Dawn that heatstroke was the cause of their death.
“But you know that we have about 400 mammals. Of them, only two animals have died while we got two births in the fallow deer herd today,” he added.
According to him, all the animals are being provided with electrolytes to cope with the hot weather. “Electrolytes are important to regulate body temperature in extreme weather conditions, be it winter or summer,” he said.
In reply to a question regarding lack of vegetation at the Safari, he said trees could be planted at the facility only if there was a network of piped water. “Currently, a project is under way to establish a water supply system at Safari Park. Once it is there, trees would also be grown to improve environmental conditions at the facility. Right now, vehicles are used to supply water to animals,” he explained.
Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2015