Zoo Miami, the 330-acre facility that is home to 3,000 animals, decided not to evacuate their animals during Hurricane Irma. Several other zoos in Florida followed suit.
The reason? According to Ron Magill, Zoo Miami spokesman, the “panic” from an evacuation scenario could kill the animals, causing them to attempt an escape, overheat, and to charge. The solution? Hunker the animals down in protected buildings until the storm passed.
Many of the animals stayed in their “night houses,” while other smaller animals such as smaller mammals and birds, were taken to kennels and moved throughout various rooms of the zoo, like the veterinary hospital.
While some zoos can transfer the animals to other facilities, but Magill stated that evacuations would only take place if storm surge flooding hit the building.
While some of the animals get a little scared, most deal with the storms how they would in the wild.