How Zoos Prepare For Hurricanes

Awe!  The poor Grrrr-animals!  Jackie Selby

As the planes stopped flying and highway traffic started to slow ahead of Hurricane Irma, apes, lions and flamingos were some of the last Florida residents still standing.
That’s because zoo officials usually consider it better not to evacuate their animals in the face of a natural disaster, representatives of many zoos have said in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and, now, Irma.  “That’s probably the No. 1 question I get asked: ‘Oh my God, when are you going to evacuate animals?’” Ron Magill, communications director at Zoo Miami, told NPR. “We are never going to evacuate animals.”

While humans can easily jump in a car and drive away, evacuating a zoo full of wild animals could make them less safe.
“We don’t evacuate our animals since hurricanes can change direction at the last minute and you run the risk of evacuating to a more dangerous location. Furthermore, the stress of moving the animals can be more dangerous than riding out the storm,” according to the Zoo Miami’s Facebook page.

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