Pollution poses threat to zoo animals

Eye irritation being one of harmful effects


Asif Mehmood November 22, 2021
PHOTOS: AFP

LAHORE:

Air pollution and smog pose a growing threat to human life as well as to animals, birds and plants in the metropolis.

The harmful effects of smog can cause eye irritation and difficulty in breathing in cattle and wild animals.

Plant growth is also affected. Lower temperatures have also increased the intensity of air pollution and smog. This is not only affecting the people but also increasing the dangers to animals and plants.

Dr Madiha Ashraf, a veterinary officer at the Lahore Zoo, said that dangerous particles in air pollution and smog affect humans as well as animal eyes. They may have difficulty in breathing.

Similarly, carbon and other particles in the atmosphere fall on their fodder, and they eat the same fodder which also affects their health.

Experts say that in air pollution and smog, when dust accumulates on the leaves of trees, the process of photosynthesis, i.e. absorption of light from the sun, stops which affects the growth of plants and trees.

Director of Lahore Zoo, Mohammad Anwar Maan, said that a number of measures were being taken at the zoo to protect the animals and birds from seasonal effects.

Sheds were made for animals living in open fields, and straw spread inside the sheds of animals and birds.

In the same way, they sprayed water in areas where there was a danger of dust.

"The abundance of trees in the zoo is a natural shelter for us, which is playing an important role in protecting the residents from the effects of the weather,” he said.

Muhammad Anwar Maan says that the leaves of plants have a magnetic force which attracts the particles in the atmosphere. He further added that burning of dried tree leaves, garbage, wood and coal had been banned in the zoo as it caused pollution.

Dr Madiha Ashraf said that in order to protect animals and birds from seasonal effects, especially from smog, changes were made in their habitat and they were being given food that would strengthen the animals and birds internally and increase their immunity.

At the zoo, birds were fed a variety of dry fruits. Jaggery (Gur) was mixed with animal food and various supplements were added.

She suggested that even domestic animals should not be kept in open spaces in this season.

“Instead, keep them in a shed and keep their living space clean. Before feeding them, if there is any dust on it, then clean it. Feeding jaggery to cattle can also be beneficial,” she said.

Meanwhile, PHA officials say that fences were being built around small plants to protect the plants from the effects of the weather.

On the other hand, big trees were watered with the help of vehicles that removes dust from their leaves and stems.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2021.

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