What Happens To Zoo Animals During A Massive Hurricane?

With Hurricane Irma right on the heels of South Florida, zoos and conservation centers around the area in are gearing up to protect the wildlife they house.

Animals throughout South Florida are being moved to secure facilities at zoos, though not all will be able to be moved inside.

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. 

"...The stress of moving the animals can be more dangerous than riding out the storm. The animals that are considered dangerous will stay in their secure night houses, which are made of poured concrete and welded metal," the zoo mentioned in a Facebook post. "These animals survived Andrew without injuries. We've loaded up on additional food and water, our generators have been tested and ready to go. In addition, we've stored all cycles and removed debris."

Nearly 30 years ago, dozens of flamingos sheltering from Hurricane Georges a bathroom at the zoo, becoming an iconic image showing the lengths zoo staffs go to to protect their animals in dangerous weather.

According to NBC 6, the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation in Loxahatchee plans to hunker down larger animals that "...cannot be caught up and put in small spaces." 

Jungle Island in Miami mentioned on their Facebook page that they "...are making preparations with our care team in residence so that all the animals are in hurricane protective housing."

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