At the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., some animals were slightly jittery, while many weathered the quake with grace and aplomb. The National Zoo issued a report this morning detailing how their mammals, reptiles, fish and birds reacted to the 5.9 magnitude earthquake. “Iris (an orangutan) began ‘belch vocalizing‘ — an unhappy/upset noise normally reserved for extreme irritation — before the quake and continued this vocalization following the quake,” the zoo’s communications office says. The beavers and some hooded mergansers (ducks) were eating when the quake hit, and the ducks immediately jumped into their pool, the zoo’s communications office says.
“According to keepers, the giant pandas did not appear to respond to the earthquake,” the zoo says. Here's your animal kingdom earthquake breakdown:
Great apes According to zoo officials, the apes were feeding when the earthquake struck. Iris (an orangutan) began 'belch vocalizing'—an unhappy/upset noise normally reserved for extreme irritation—before the quake and continued this vocalization following the quake."
"All the snakes began writhing during the quake (copperheads, cotton mouth, false water cobra, etc.). Murphy, the Zoo’s Komodo dragon, sought shelter inside.
"Keepers were feeding the beavers and hooded mergansers (a species of duck) when the earthquake hit. Great cats Apparently, the female tiger Damai was the only big cat spooked by the quake. Birds Somewhat predictably, the zoo's flamingos were spooked. "The Zoo has a flock of 64 flamingos. The National Zoo has catalogued changes in animal behavior recognized before, during and after the big East Coast quake.
The flamingos too sensed the start of the quake. Just before the quake the zoo’s flock of 64 flamingos rushed and grouped themselves together where they remained huddled during the quake, the zoo says.
Beavers stopped eating and jumped in the water too. Damai, a female Sumatran tiger, jumped at the start of the earthquake but returned to normal after the Quake.
The Prezwalski’s horses and scimitar-horned oryx “hardly noticed” the quake, zookeepers said.
Other zoo’s on the East Coast report similar animal activity both before and after the quake.