Dr Thilak Premakantha, Director General of the National Zoological Gardens, said that in the event of a food crisis at the Dehiwala Zoo, it has been decided to release more populated animals to sanctuaries where no more endangered animals can be found.
He said that only four animals of one species would be sufficient for display in the zoo and that large numbers of animals such as deer and deer would be released to such a selected area with the approval of the Wildlife Department.
However, a spokesman for the zoo stated that the food crisis in the country has already affected the animals at the Dehiwala Zoo. He said the zoo did not have the money to pay the people who fed the animals through tenders and therefore delayed the supply of food until the caterers paid.
When we inquired about this, the Director said that the food items would be procured through an annual tender and that no such issue had arisen as the tender period had not yet expired. He added that the zoo was now accustomed to substituting expensive foods for animals that had long been used as a solution to the food crisis and to save money.
Accordingly, animals that eat fruits such as apples and oranges will be given fruits such as avocados and other small seeds that will be eaten by birds that eat expensive sunflower seeds, he said.
Measures have also been taken to increase food production on farms belonging to the Department of Zoology, he said. At present, a large number of grasses and crops are cultivated at the Gonapola farm and a 20-acre farm is to be set up at the Ridiyagama Park, the Director said.
He also said that the zoo is ready to reactivate various activities that were stopped during the covid period to increase its revenue. The director further stated that feeding outside the animals has been stopped due to the germs entering the body.
He also said that anyone who wants to feed the animals can get dry food, milk powder for the tiger cubs and materials like sugarcane for the elephants at the zoo.