Cyclone Amphan uproots trees, damages deer enclosure in Alipore zoo

Kolkata, May 22 (PTI) Cyclone Amphan damaged deer enclosure and uprooted trees, many of them over 50 years old, in Alipore Zoological Gardens here but the animals were not harmed, a top zoo official said.

Tigers, lions, leopards, chimpanzees were seemingly unaffected by the cyclone as they were within the confines of their cages while zebras and giraffes seemed to be a bit restive out in their open enclosures, the official said on Thursday.

Portions of walls of the enclosures for ostriches and deer were damaged but all the animals were safe, he said.

'On Thursday they (zebras and giraffes) showed a decreased appetite as they might have been scared of the whistling sound of strong winds and the situation around. This is a temporary phenomenon as the animals are healthy otherwise,' he said.

The staff is working round-the-clock to monitor the condition of animals, zoo director Asis Samanta told PTI.

At least 35 trees were uprooted as the cyclone ravaged the city on Wednesday.

The zoo authorities had to immediately cut an uprooted tree trank which fell into a crocodile enclosure on Wednesday evening so that crocs could not climb onto it and come out, the zoo director said.

'We hope to clear the tree logs cluttered in the premises within a day,' Samanta said.

The zoo has remained closed since mid-March in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown.

Established in 1876, the Alipore zoo presently houses 1,100 wild animals including tigers, lions, leopards, elephants, zebras, giraffes and birds. PTI SUS MM MM