Defending zoo animals against fires

Defending zoo animals against fires

You’ve seen the devastating images of people and their pets fleeing wildfires. But, have you ever wondered how zoos keep their animals safe?

Preventive measures include clearing brush away from enclosures, and even watering down hillsides to stop embers in their tracks.

But if these defenses are breached, extraordinary measures must be taken. The practicality of transport is the first consideration. Birds and small animals can be moved into concrete structures on site, but some animals have to be transported to nearby zoos or other facilities. However, the largest of them all — like elephants and giraffes — must be defended in place by using sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers and other means.

One thing’s for sure: with worsening natural disasters, zoos have to devise ever-more challenging emergency plans.

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