As Hurricane Irma continues to batter Florida, many are concerned about the residents, their belongings, and the animals that may be in the storm’s path. One place that has a lot of animals is Walt Disney World which has kept its park doors closed for only the fifth time in history, but that has also raised a lot of questions. Many are wondering just what Disney does with the inhabitants of Disney’s Animal Kingdom in serious storms and you have no need to worry about their well-being.
In the past, Disney has kept its parks closed during four other hurricanes and each time, they have had to take care of the animals. Not only is there the theme park where so many of them reside, but a number of them also roam the grounds at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and they must be cared for as well.
Disney did not choose to evacuate their animals, but they do have safe locations for them at both Animal Kingdom and the resort hotel. All of the pens and barns for the animals are reinforced to withstand big-time storms, but the cast members still are not going to force the animals to do something they don’t want to do.
For all animals, Disney will start trying to get them to go into their pens and barns when severe weather begins to arrive. The thing is, these are wild animals at heart and they can’t be forced into housing up if they really don’t want to do it.
As reported by the USA Today, most Florida zoos did not evacuate their animals for the reason that wild animals in a zoo are not used to being moved and doing so may stress them out. Honestly, moving the animals may end up being much worse for them than trying to stay safe in Hurricane Irma.
The same can be said at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park and Animal Kingdom Lodge as the creatures roaming around are classified as those from the wild. So, when bad weather comes in, Disney will attempt to get them into their pens, but they will not force them inside if they don’t want to go.
For those that remain outside, Disney has experts on hand for each and every species of animal. Those experts will monitor the behavior of the animals and keep checking on them as the storm continues on and as it may intensify.
During a hurricane, Disney will even have those experts stationed in rooms so that they may always be on hand for the animals.
Some water-dwelling creatures such as alligators and crocodiles will be left in their man-made habitats since it is where they would be safest anyway. Much like the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society moved smaller animals into hurricane shelters, other animals were left in their environments as reported by NBC News.
When all is said and done, Disney takes every precaution with their animals, but they will not force them into doing things that could be worse in the long run. The safety of the animals is kept a priority at all times and they are taken care of and remain safe.
While Hurricane Irma is indeed weakening as of Sunday evening, the storm has been one of the most terrifying things that the world has ever seen. Her insane size and incredible strength caused death and destruction along her path which included Walt Disney World in its way. While people evacuated and took care of their belongings, Disney made sure that their animals were protected and well taken care of as well.
[Featured Image by Danny Cox]