Four race horses succumb to heat wave in Bengal
Kolkata, June 7 (IANS) The ongoing heat wave in Bengal, which has already claimed 45 human lives, is also taking toll on animals as four race horses have succumbed to the blistering heat in the stables over the last few days.
With temperatures hovering over 40 degrees Celsius combined with oppressive humidity in the last few days a number of horses are ill and suffering from high fever. The horses are now being kept on fruit and glucose diet and are being given cold massages to keep their body temperatures down.
"Four horses have died in our club so far due to the ongoing heat wave which led to an abnormal increase in their body temperatures. We have taken precautionary measures to keep their body temperatures at a normal level," said Robin Corner, general manager (racing), Royal Calcutta Turf Club.
The club has around 600 horses.
Horse racing in India started from Kolkata, when this race course was established in 1820. The race course was initially frequented by Britons and the Indian elite.
According to Corner, the horses which are showing signs of illness are being constantly monitored by the veterinary doctors.
"We are constantly monitoring the horses. We are giving them ice packs, cold compresses, damp massages. Right now we are also providing them with a very light diet which includes glucose and more fluids," Corner said.
Those horses who are already ill and are having a high fever have been shifted to air conditioned stables and the normal stable's roofs and floors have been covered with soaked thatch to beat the heat. High speed pedestal fans have also been kept in the stables.
"We have also taken out oats and grams from the diet. Instead we are providing them with seasonal fruits such as watermelon, papaya, fresh cool water, ORS solutions," the official said.
Other elite clubs of the city which have their own stables have also taken up same arrangements to provide the horses with some relief.
At least 45 people have died across Bengal in the last two days from the heat wave.
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