Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Bone-chilling cold has thrown life into disarray. The extreme weather has taken a toll on humans and even the wildlife has not remained untouched by it – though both have evolved techniques and mechanisms to beat the chilling cold.
The wild animals have an uncanny ability to adapt to the extreme weather conditions. During winters, the animals eat a lot and develop fat which helps them to protect against the biting cold, say wildlife experts. The skin of some wild animals becomes darker during winters and they also develop a thick coat of fur, they added. YV Jhala, Dean of Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, said that four legged animals develop fat under their skin and this protects them from the cold conditions. Some wild animals also develop fur coat on their skin.
Van Vihar Director Padampriya Balakrishnan talking to Free Press said, wild animals have the natural ability to get adjusted to the environment. “Wild animals eat a lot during the winter season. They finish whatever is served to them,” said the official.
Another forest officer said during winters, the skin of spotted deer becomes dark.
Tigers have evolved in such a manner that they can live even below zero degree temperature and Siberian tigers are the best example of this, he added. The tigers in the wild are hardly affected even 7 degrees Celsiusa temperature , the same is the case with other wild animals, however, heaters are installed in cages and enclosures in zoos to protect the animals from cold.
As far as Cheetahs of Kuno National Park are concerned, they will get adapted to the changed weather conditions as they have been brought from Namibia where the cold is as intense as in India, he added.
YV Jhala, Dean Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun
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