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Flamingos In The Men's Room: How Zoos And Aquariums Handle Hurricanes

When you're building a zoo disaster plan, there's one thing to keep in mind: If anything can go wrong, it will.
More than 50 Caribbean flamingos take shelter in a men's restroom at the Miami Metrozoo (now Zoo Miami) on Sept. 25, 1998. Zookeepers rounded up the birds to protect them from the effects of Hurricane Georges. This was not the first time the zoo had to corral flamingos in a restroom. They were also in there during Hurricane Andrew, six years earlier. Source: Max Trujillo

When you're building a zoo disaster plan, there's one thing to keep in mind: Murphy's law. Anything that could go wrong, will.

Just ask the flock of flamingos that weathered Hurricane Andrew in a public restroom at Zoo Miami in 1992.

Or, you could ask the zoo personnel across the coast who've been running emergency drills since the start of hurricane season.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which represents more than 230 animal care facilities in the U.S. and abroad, requires all of its members to practice an annual disaster preparedness drill to keep their accreditation. And many facilities review or update their protocols every year, including Zoo Miami, which is now buckling down

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