Zoo animals run in circles during solar eclipse or was it the humans?

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Monday afternoon seemed to have been a confusing time for the animals at the Nashville Zoo during the solar eclipse. More than 7,000 humans gathered at the zoo to watch the total eclipse and at the same time, use their cameras in a safer manner by photographing the giraffes, rhinoceroses and flamingos that showed some unusual behavior during the phenomena.

According to the Tennessean, experts however aren’t sure if the animals reacted to the eclipse or the throngs of people screaming and yelling.

“The Rhinos, most of the time they slept,” said Amelia Davis, an animal keeper. “It’s what they do during that time period. When it started to get dark, they stood up and ran to the back to gate and hung out. Once it was light again, they went back to sleeping.

“But we aren’t sure if it was the eclipse or thousands of people screaming.”

Crickets were noisier as the darkness emerged, but it was the humans who drowned out any sounds from the animals as people clapped, “oohing and aahing” for the two minutes the total eclipse lasted. In the flamingo pen, the birds gathered closer together. It isn’t unusual for flamingos to huddle together when they are agitated.

Once the lights came back on, that’s when the animals reacted again! The two youngster giraffes, Mazi, 6-months-old and Nasha, 3-years-old danced around in circles.

Not all the animals were affected by the eclipse. Nothing much happened with the primates nor with the wild cats.

All in all, no doubt the humans were the most affected; think of it as the zoo denizens calming their keepers and guests.

(Photos of animals during solar eclipse via twitter Nikki Burdine and Jason Gonzales)

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4 replies
  1. susispot says:

    Why on earth did the zoo allow so many people to hang in for the eclipse? They should have known it would be disturbing for the animals. They must have had their heads up their butts again. Stupid thing to do. Keep the animals safe and comfortable or change jobs.

  2. ellen cottone says:

    well Einstein,
    all you have to do is ask any zoo along the eclipse path that had animals without 7000 screaming humans with scary x-ray glasses.
    do the math. it was humans


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