Hurricane Irma is on course of destruction, whilst many people set to take shelter from the storm, many are concerned about the animals of Florida.

A lot of animals are at severe risk, with experts warning the danger birds and fish are in. Migrating birds can be blown off course and fish can be electrocuted due to fallen power lines. Zoos are in a situation much like Animal shelters, ride out the storm or attempt a stressful and difficult relocation of the residential animals.

Zoo Preparations

Moving larger animals such as cheetahs can be particularly stressful and can even result in death, the larger animals will be moved to a shorter distance to a nearby concrete bunker on site.

The National Wildlife Federation charities explained how smaller wildlife can survive in the aftermath of a hurricane. Racoons seek out for food in the streets and bears use uprooted trees to seek shelter from further winds.

SeaWorld began to home five adult male dolphins from Discovery in Duck Key until it’s safe to go back home at Florida Keys.

Animal charities have even set up shelters for both people and animals if people have nowhere to go. The shelter will prevent there being hundreds of abandoned pets wandering the streets in the storm.

Animal shelters are filling to capacity slowly, Miami-Dade County is urging for foster families or for fleeing families to take their pets with them. Miami evacuee Manny Zuniga, fleeing to Arkansas with his children, wife and two dogs plainly put it “Life first, we’ll worry about everything else after.”

Everglade fears

The Florida Everglades are also on alert after the chaos of 1992 Hurricane Andrew.

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The storm led to many exotic animals wander loose during the recovery process. The storm created havoc with pythons, it is thought an estimated 20,000 pythons were loose in the Everglades. Although the numbers were thought to be from hatcheries and pet dealers breeding baby pythons at the time. The pythons are said to of been blown into nearby Everglades where surviving snakes bred.

Pythons were the only species able to thrive and live in the wetlands which are also home to some of the largest alligators. With the fear of a similar situation, zoos are on lock down, popular tourist destinations such as SeaWorld Orland and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will have staff working around the clock to ensure the animals are kept safe. Busch Gardens began the evacuation of their flock of flamingos moving them safely to a protected enclosure.

Due to being in hurricane prone all parks and zoos have specific procedure and enclosures in place to keep everyone from harm.