Zoo Places Animals In A 'Concrete Bunker' Leading Up To Hurricane Irma

Zoo Places Animals In A 'Concrete Bunker' Leading Up To Hurricane Irma

The zoo also referenced Hurricane Andrew, one of the worst recorded storms to ever hit Florida, pointing out that all of its animals survived then.

It isn't just humans who will need to weather the storm when Hurricane Irma makes its expected landfall in Florida today.

In the mean time, the Palm Beach Zoo said on Facebook that it additionally will be staying put and keeping their creatures in their typical havens, yet additionally included that a few creatures would really be ideal if left alone amid the tempest as they would naturally search out the best sanctuary for themselves, without the worry of being bound or gathered together.

The Miami Zoo said it isn't evacuating its animals because there's a risk the hurricane will shift direction to the place animals were evacuated.

Numerous animals under the care of Dowling and his staff are taken to specially built pens, created to hold up even if nearby buildings were lost in storms or tornadoes.

Hundreds of thoroughbreds were moved from low-lying areas of Gulfstream Park, near Miami, to training facilities and barns farther north. But for the most part, animals like tigers and gorillas will stay in their normal nighttime shelters.

"We live in a hurricane-prone area so our facilities are created to accommodate these storms", said Brian Dowling, the general curator at Lion Country Safari in Palm Beach County - a facility with lions, chimpanzees, rhinos and more, all of whom stayed put for the storm.

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'Obviously, everything can't be hurricane-proof'.

The reason, Mr Dowling said, is simple, animals sense when things are not right, and raising their stress can complicate matters.

"We have large African antelope here and unfortunately they can not be caught up and put in small spaces they're out in their environment and hopefully they'll hunker down and be fine", said Dr. Paul Reillo, founder and president at the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation in Loxahatchee. 'It actually reduces the stress level considerably.

In nearly all cases, a team of zoo employees will be right there alongside the animals, staying with them until the storm passes.

Authorities in Palm Beach County were being alerted to many animals chained or caged in yards by fleeing owners - these pets have been rescued and will have new homes, they said. "It's much better to give them safe shelter on grounds".

With only very large alligators to challenge them, the pythons have thrived in the wetlands. It's unknown how many pythons are in the Everglades - estimates range from 10,000 to 100,000 - but the evidence of their presence is the eerie, near-total absence of rabbits or other small animals reported by the hunters now paid by the state to kill pythons on public lands.

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