KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Zoo Knoxville observed its animals during the solar eclipse in East Tennessee.
The zoo only had a 99 percent partial eclipse, but the phenomenon raised questions about how the more than 700 animals at the zoo will react and if it will affect their daily routines.
Zookeepers believed chimpanzees will be affected the most. Regardless, they didn’t expect anything drastic.
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After the eclipse, Chimp keeper Kyle Jorgensen said he wasn’t told of any strange behavior displayed by the chimps.
Other zookeepers kept an eye on their animals including Brock Patton.
“Lucille, she started running and kind of started acted in a excited or kind of fear based mode, she was almost like she was running from something, said Patton. “She seemed kind scared or excited by what was happening.”
Zoo staff was not surprised most of their animals didn’t react.
“That’s not going to be enough time for our rhino to say its night time and go to sleep,” said Phil Colclough with Zoo Knoxville. “Chickens and birds and animals that go to roost at night or are diurnal, that might impact them a little bit too. It’s really a big unknown, we just don’t know what they’ll do.”
The zoo asked guests to write down any change in behavior they saw in the animals during the eclipse for the zoo to review.