Eclipse may cause strange behavior in Oregon Zoo animals

Zoo to watch animals closely during eclipse

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Oregon Zoo Director says the solar eclipse may cause peculiar behavior in some animals

Dr. Don Moore says staff will be watching the animals closely on Aug. 21.

"We'll be watching their behavior for sure." 

Moore says wild animals have evolved to light and dark cycles. The eclipse will be an unexpected dark cycle.

"We might see active animals going to sleep during the eclipse when they might not normally go to sleep, we might see animals kind of get a little bit nervous during the eclipse," Moore explained.

In Portland, about 99 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon during the eclipse. Dr. Moore says, as a result, some animals may behave as if it were dusk.

Some birds will likely get quieter, lions may act more predatory, or elephants may think it's dinner time and start looking for food.

Or, normally active animals may go to sleep.

"We have reports that hoofed animals go and lie down at an unusual time when the suns is darkened," Moore said.

But what about the less wild animals, like your pets?

Dr. Moore says your pet may also think it's nighttime, and act accordingly.

But he also says, because the eclipse is such a short event, many animals may not even pay attention to it.

His advice to all animal owners out there?

"I think just continue your normal day," he said. "Keep calm and carry on."

© 2017 KGW-TV


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