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This Florida Zoo Is Hastily Preparing Its Nearly 950 Animals For Hurricane Dorian

caitlyn.clancey 31 Aug 2019

The impending touchdown of Hurricane Dorian has compelled many Floridians along the state's Atlantic coast to do anything and everything necessary to prepare for the fierce category 4 storm that's expected to hit Florida later this holiday weekend.

But as residents stock up on food, water, and other vital supplies, one question remains: what of the animals who also call this state home?

One zoo in particular is way ahead of us and has already begun preparing its animals for Dorian — all nearly 950 of them.

Instagram | @brevardzoo

According to Florida Today, Brevard Zoo, which sits directly in the path of Dorian's coastal trajectory, is currently working as quickly as possible to get its animals ready for the storm. And thankfully, they've got plans in place for just this sort of emergency.

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The zoo's Animal Welfare Specialist, Megan Stankiewicz, is in charge of making sure all of its exotic wildlife are prepared for Dorian.

Instagram | @brevardzoo

She explained that the larger animals who call the zoo home, like the giraffes, lions, and kangaroos, will be housed in their respective cement structures as the storm passes over the facility.

"They're all trained to go in, they get a treat, and they'll get a real big treat for riding out the storm," she said.

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It's a bit of a different story for the zoo's smaller residents.

Instagram | @brevardzoo

Stankiewicz said these animals, particularly the exotic birds, will be kept inside kennels that will then be placed in the zoo's hurricane-proof animal care building. These creatures will be kept company by a team of 10 staff members, including zookeepers, vets, and other specialists trained in keeping these animals calm, safe, and happy. This is also in case there are any emergencies during the storm.

Once the winds and rain settle enough for people to venture outside, staff will check on the larger animals in their enclosures.

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The zoo isn't too worried about the animals reacting negatively to the storm and said they're used to thunder and lightening.

Instagram | @brevardzoo

Past hurricanes have caused fairly little damage to the zoo and the facility is usually back to normal after a 24-hour cleanup period, Stankiewicz said.

If there is any major storm damage, she explained that zoos all across the state are ready to assist each other.

The zoo is currently still open and is expected to remain as such until Sunday, the day of Dorian's predicted touchdown.

h/t: Florida Today

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