The local sanctuaries and zoo are planning to secure their exotic animals including their big cats, reptiles, primates and birds as the Hurricane Irma has become troublesome for Florida.
Naples Zoo’s director of public relations and marketing, Courtney Jolly said, “We have set hurricane plans and procedures already in place at the beginning of hurricane season every year.” Jolly said, “Every animal has a place to go in each building and every employee helps with hurricane preparation.”
The officials have already shifted some animals in concrete dens in buildings in order to protect animals from the Irma. Even the bathrooms have become the shelter for some animals.
According to Jolly, they have a team that monitors the storm and keep check on things.
Jolly said, “We have a team that will ride out the storm.” Jolly added, “They’ll monitor the hurricane and determine when they can go out to check on things.”
According to the directors of local animal sanctuaries, the last storm for which they had planned and prepared was Hurricane Wilma which knocked the doors in 2005.
The executive director of the Shy Wolf Sanctuary, Deanna Deppen said that during the time of Hurricane Wilma the staff stayed at the sanctuary to keep check on things and animals.
Deppen said, “That’s what we’ll be doing this time too, when it’s safe.”
Jonathan and Gracelyn Slaby who run the Kowiachobee Animal Preserve in Golden Gate Estates have given shelter to some animals inside their home, they give shelter to some of their exotic birds and small mammals in order to protect them from the hurricane while the horses will stay outside the house. Jonathan and Slaby said that there are ID tags on them.
“We’re not waiting until the last minute, but we’re not moving the animals too far ahead, so they don’t get cabin fever,” Jonathan Slaby said. “We’ve gone through this process before. I list the names of new hurricanes every time I put the plywood up. There’s always concern about what’s going to happen, but we’re getting ready.”