Chennai: On the day Cyclone Vardah hit Tamil Nadu three days ago, not only were the common people affected but also the animals in the sprawling zoo here.
Carnivores like Tigers and Lion had to go hungry on that fateful day as they could not be fed due to the havoc wreaked by the storm.
These animals at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park here, one of the largest zoos in South East Asia spread over an area of 602 hectares in the southern suburbs, did not receive their daily feed on December 12 due to several factors.
Zoo sources said that carnivores could be fed only the next day when the situation improved.
Even on the subsequent day, they said the carnivores could be fed only with much difficulty in view of the devastation the zoo had suffered.
On an average, approximately 400 kilos of meat is required to feed the carnivores in this zoo.
The storm wrecked havoc in the zoo as it uprooted over 10,000 trees, severely hindering access to animal enclosures and rendering feeding of animals challenging. Also, the zoo’s outer compound wall was severely damaged.
However, herbivores were not affected, the sources said, adding their requirement is met through the fodder bank in the zoo which supplies about 2000 kgs of fodder daily.
Yesterday, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam inspected the zoo premises, held discussions with officials and directed them to speed up restoration work.
Following the devastation, the zoo has been shut indefinitely for repairs. Home to a wide variety of mammals, birds and reptiles, the zoo attracts over 5,000 footfalls on an average everyday and is quite popular.