The Zoo Hunkers Down

You may be all prepared for Ike.

What about the animals at the Houston Zoo? The cuddly koalas? The giraffes? The lions, just dying to break out and hunt along the streets of Houston?

It's all taken care of. They claim.

"They" being the zoo administrators.

The zoo's statement:

"Preparations at the Zoo are not that much different than what most people are doing at home or at their place of employment right now,” said Houston Zoo spokesperson Brian Hill. “ The Zoo has been making storm preparations since early yesterday morning, securing any and all items that might become air born in high winds, checking supplies of fuel, batteries, water and food.

“We actually begin our storm preparations in May of each year, reviewing our plans and stocking up on supplies for the season such as batteries, flashlights, water pumps, portable generators, and chain saws,” said Hill.

The Zoo will designated personnel to serve on a 25 person “ride out” crew. “The ride-out crew will take up station at the Zoo overnight to ride out the storm and be prepared to care for the animals and perform any needed repairs after the storm passes,” said Hill.

Zoo animals will not be evacuated prior to the storm’s arrival. “The Zoo has strong and secure off exhibit holding areas for our animals,” said Hill. "It would be far more stressful for the animals to move them out of the Zoo than to keep them in these familiar surroundings in the care of the keepers that they know and trust.”

So (one hopes) you won't need to look for lions on the streets.

-- Richard Connelly

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