As Hurricane Irma’s powerful winds began hitting the Florida Keys on Saturday, many animals — including howler monkeys, dingoes and turtles — were safely tucked away in their shelters or elsewhere.
Zoos and conservation centers in South Florida moved their animals to safety earlier in the week as forecasts for the Sunshine State grew increasingly dire.
At the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society in West Palm Beach, workers began moving smaller animals into facilities that doubled as hurricane shelters on Wednesday morning, said its communications director, Naki Carter.
“We are prepared for the worst and hopeful for the best,” Carter said. “We are preparing for a Category 5 to make direct impact with our zoo.”
The zoo’s tiger, jaguar, bear and Komodo dragon populations would be staying put, she said, because their habitats already double as hurricane shelters.
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