Hurricane Irma and the Animals at the Zoos

Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) female Zoo Miami by Dan

Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) female Zoo Miami by Dan

“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:37-41 KJV)

We here in Florida are preparing for Hurricane Irma to impact our state in the next few days. Dan and I have put in our supplies, and our just waiting to make a final decision to stay or go to a shelter. When we lived in Fort Lauderdale years ago, we went through the fringe of Hurricane Andrew. As you know, we like to visit zoos, especially Zoo Miami. During Andrew, the then Miami Metro Zoo was devastated. Thankfully, it was rebuilt and renamed Zoo Miami.

Thought I would check to see what is being done around the state at some of our favorite Zoos. What I found was more of what they did in previous hurricanes to protect the animals.

Victoria Crowned Pigeon (Goura victoria) by Lee at Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami is right in the path of a direct hit from Irma. The Wings of Asia aviary was built to new strong hurricane strengths, and we trust it can stand up to this new threat. Here are some links to what preparations are happening.

Animal caretakers prepping for Irma with lessons learned from Andrew

“Zoo Miami’s flamingos won’t be riding out Hurricane Irma in a bathroom like they were 25 years ago when Hurricane Andrew devastated the park.

Instead, the park’s majestic birds will be inside their steel and concrete enclosure—an upgrade from the iconic photo that shows the birds huddled in a hay-filled bathroom.

“It’s one of the things we learned from Andrew,” said Ron Magill a spokesman for Zoo Miami. “They will be safe.” CLICK THE LINK TO READ THE REST.

Here are two clips from the Hurricane Andrew damage.


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Wrinkled Hornbill (Aceros corrugatus) Brevard Zoo by Lee

Wrinkled Hornbill (Aceros corrugatus) Brevard Zoo by Lee

Brevard Zoo – Viera, Florida [from an article in Florida Today] They are on a “wait and see,”

“VIERA — Officials at Brevard Zoo, like a lot of people, are keeping a careful eye on Hurricane Irma.

But as of now it’s business as usual for the zoo staff and the 800 animals there.

Elliot Zirulnik, the communications manager at the zoo, said the zoo has a hurricane plan in place, which includes two-week stockpiles of food for the animals.

If a hurricane warning is issued for the area, then zoo staff will work on securing the animals.

The 800 animals at the zoo consist of 165 species.

“It’s a lot of work but it’s something our team is prepared for,” Zirulnik said.

The zoo is located in Viera, off Wickham Road, near Interstate 95.”

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Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) Jax Zoo by Lee

Jacksonville Zoo

Couldn’t find where they have written about the current hurricane approaching, but here is an interesting article about last year when Hurrican Matthew came through.

The Jacksonville Zoo bringing in ‘ride-out’ team to help protect animals, facility from Hurricane Matthew

I did not list Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa because it appears the hurricane is going to go up the east coast of Florida. They will prepare in Tampa, but also “wait and see.”

Inca Tern at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee

The Lord is in control of this storm and already knows where it will go, what and who will be affected by Hurricane Andrew. Your prayers for our residents of Florida; both we humans and the critters.

“The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” (Nahum 1:7 KJV)

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Birdwatching at Zoos

14 thoughts on “Hurricane Irma and the Animals at the Zoos

    • Thanks, Dr. Jim. All prayers are welcome. Knew you were here last weekend, but no way could I have come over. Hardly making it to church here. Will probably go to a shelter (at our church).

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    • Thanks. They just moved the storm prediction back inland. We will be staying at our church. They are using it as a shelter. Unofficial, but not just for church members. Many of us live in mobile homes, us included. Not safe to stay home.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. So now we pray for life in Florida to return to “normal” as the memories of Hurricane Irma break up. (Verses below can be sung to the tune of MY BONNIE LIES OVER THE OCEAN.):

    Oh, Irma came in from the ocean
    Yes, Irma came in from the sea,
    Please, Irma, go back to the ocean —
    So more people won’t need to flee.

    Go back, go back,
    Oh, go back, with your winds, far from me;
    Go back, go back
    O, take back your storm surge to the sea.

    Last night while I lay on my pillows
    Last night while I lay on my bed
    Recalling the hurricane billows
    The power’s back – and Irma is dead.

    > JJSJ

    Liked by 1 person

    • You two are too much! :) Thank you both for commenting and I’ll have to share that song with our song leader, Stephen. We trust that Irma’s relatives don’t decide to follow in her tracks. Oh, yes, the “power is back!”

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