As Hurricane Irma gets downgraded to a tropical storm, it continues to lash both Florida and Georgia. Florida zoos decided to secure their Animals to protect them from the storm rather than evacuate them. Animal lovers will be pleased to know that the zoos made every effort to keep their animals safe from approaching hurricanes. The animals will ride out the effects of the storm in comfort and safety instead of being thrown into a panic from being moved. The goal of the zoos is to make sure that the animals are safe and protected.

Why animals aren't being evacuated

USA Today reported that the panic caused by trying to evacuate the animals could endanger the lives of the animals and get them killed. Moving them from a zoo isn't the same as transporting pets to safe locations. Moving the animals could cause them to become desperate and attempt to escape. They could run into things or overheat, leading to their deaths. Zoo animals aren't used to being moved. The Miami Zoo, which is 330-acres, decided not to evacuate any of its 3,000 animals for these reasons. Instead, the zoo chose to secure the animals in fortified buildings to allow them to ride out the storm in safety. They will be located in "night houses," secure buildings that are behind the vegetative enclosures that zoo visitors see.

US News & World Report said that the Miami Zoo had to take special care to secure some of its animals because they're endangered species. One example is Peanut, a critically endangered white-rumped vulture. Peanut was evacuated from his enclosure where he was placed in a fortified concrete bunker to keep him safe. Zoo Miami Communications Director Ron Magill said that the zoo was concerned with keeping the generators running so that the aquariums would continue to pump oxygen into the water of aquariums to keep the fish and amphibians alive.

Zoo keepers are particularly concerned because of a previous hurricane, Andrew. After that hurricane in 1992, the zoo was decimated. Enclosures for the larger animals like lions, elephants, and apes were fortified to make sure that in the event of any future hurricanes, they would be safe.

Miami Zoo makes preparations for Hurrican Irma

The Huffington Post reported that the Miami's biggest zoo wouldn't be putting their flamingos in the bathroom this time. The Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens is the largest zoo in Miami with 3,000 animals. Zoo keepers began making preparations several days before the hurricane was expected to hit because a hurricane's path can change quickly. They wanted to make sure animals were safe. Now animals will be kept in concrete enclosures that can withstand a major hurricane. Some of the animals were placed in kennels or crates inside secure buildings while others were allowed to roam free.