The ongoing lockdown has meant dietary adjustments for the lords of the jungle. They are having to make do — first, they were fed chicken, now they will have frozen meat.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivli, has made arrangements for frozen buffalo meat to feed its resident carnivores — tigers, lions, and leopards, informed the Lion Safari Park Range Forest Officer (RFO) Vijay Barabde.
“Since the Deonar abattoir is closed due to the lockdown, the supplier was unable to deliver buffalo meat. Therefore, for the last few days, the carnivores were being served chicken. But now, the supplier has made arrangements for frozen meat from Deonar,” he said, adding, “This will be their staple fare for the next two months.”
At present, in the SGNP, there are nine leopards, six tigers and three lions. “The usual demand for meat is 120kg but since frozen meat is boneless, our meat demand has reduced to 60-70kg per day,” Barabde explained.
The SGNP authorities have put in place due measures to protect those in charge of their wild charges from virus.
Although the World Health Organisation (WHO) has clarified that the virus does not spread from animals to humans, as a preventive measure, staffers working as animal keepers and undertaking cleaning activities in the enclosures are being asked to apply sanitiser on their hands before entering and leaving the premises, Barabde said.