Pandas and the Other Animals Chill-Axing at the Zoo. Museums and Zoo Open Tomorrow

Hurricane Over. Tomorrow its Back to Increasing and Diffusing Here at the Smithsonian

Tian Tian chill-axing at the Zoo. Photo by Beth Py-Lieberman

For everyone who hunkered down for Hurricane Sandy yesterday, it might be the animals at the Zoo who enjoyed it most. “For the most part all the animals were fine. It’s a cooler day and they like cooler days,” says animal keeper Juan Rodriguez. “Having a quiet day was good for them, they are so used to having noisy crowds around that they appreciated a day off.”

As Washington, D.C. was shaking itself off this morning and getting a look around at the hurricane damage, animal keeper Juan Rodriguez, who incidentally didn’t get any chance to hunker down, was already at work.

The Zoo weathered the storm just fine. “It’s pretty much, with exception of a lot of foliage,” says Rodriguez, “not that bad. I’ve been hearing a little chain sawing around the bird house where a tree may have come down. But that’s it. The soil is very saturated, and we’re keeping an eye on the trees now, but there’s no damage to any of the yards.”

As for the animals, did they notice the low pressure as the storm headed inland? Any odd behaviors? Nope, says Rodriguez. “Basically like everyone wants to do during a storm, the animals, particularly the bears and the pandas, just wanted to stay in a comfortable bed, and eat, and chill-ax.”

The museums and the National Zoo, which report no damages from the storm, will reopen tomorrow at their regularly scheduled times. Check here for a schedule.



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