Featured Image Credit: Texas State Aquarium
When you house feisty jungle cats, massive marine mammals and countless insects and reptiles, you can see how it might get a bit difficult to have an evacuation plan when Mother Nature decides to wreak havoc.
With Hurricane Harvey pummeling through Texas and Hurricane Irma looming over southeastern states, zoos and aquariums are sometimes forced to get creative with housing their animals. Back in 1992, Hurricane Andrew devastated much of the Miami area.
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While every zoo and aquarium must have a plan to save their animals, those plans usually don’t involve moving the animals to a different location. SeaWorld Orlando and Central Florida zoos are taking precautions for their animals ahead of Hurricane Irma.
Located in Melbourne, Florida, Brevard Zoo is home to more than 800 animals, representing 180 species from all over the world. They are following a detailed hurricane plan to protect both humans and animals from Hurricane Irma. Zoo staff will secure animals in buildings or provide them with access to shelter. A dedicated team of animal care and maintenance employees will ride out the storm with the animals at a couple of hardened sites in the Zoo. To give the community a safe place to visit, the Zoo will remain open while staff prepares for the storm; however, certain experiences may not be available.
They are also providing support and temporary housing for animals from other zoological facilities in coastal areas expected to have a greater impact. Five Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins from a marine mammal organization in Duck Key were transported to SeaWorld Orlando. The male dolphins range in age from 13 to 43 years old and are expected to stay at SeaWorld Orlando until further notice.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at what Clearwater Marine Aquarium does to make sure their animals stay safe during a storm!
The Central Florida Animal Reserve is getting their animals ready as well.
“The Central Florida Animal Reserve has taken every precaution and is working with all the appropriate agencies to make sure our cats are safe as Hurricane Irma makes landfall into the Central Florida area. Our new facility was built with hurricanes in mind and is capable to withstand 150 mph winds. We are taking every precaution that our cats and the public are safe during this storm,” said Dr. Simba Wiltz from the Central Florida Animal Reserve.”