Hurricane Irma: How some South Florida animals fared

Hurricane Irma: How some South Florida animals fared
Posted at 11:12 AM, Sep 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-11 09:04:45-04

(RNN) - South Florida took a direct hit from the powerful Hurricane Irma, and for the most part, animals had to shelter in place.

One notable exception: the famous, roving Key West roosters, who were wrapped up and taken out of harm's way ahead of Hurricane Irma, the Miami Herald reported.

Key deer have been spotted after the storm, Key West Finest posted to Facebook.

The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory said that the park came through the massive storm unscathed.

"Everything is in perfect condition," the park's post said. "There are a couple puddles of water just inside the front door but all else is absolutely perfect." 

The park's resident flamingo couple, Rhett and Scarlett, are reported safe. A photo posted on Facebook shows them sheltering in a laundry room.

At the Dolphin Research Center, the staff who stayed behind to care for the animals said that all of the animals are safe after the storm.

Zoo Miami didn't evacuate its animals, it said in a post last week, because of the unpredictability of hurricanes, worries that the animals might be moved to an area that would end up being hit harder and stress the move could cause to the animals.

"These animals survived Andrew without injuries," the Facebook post said. "We've loaded up on additional food and water, our generators have been tested and ready to go. In addition, we've stored all cycles and removed debris."

Instead of riding out the hurricane in the bathroom, as they did during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the park's flamingos will be huddled inside a steel and concrete enclosure.

Monkey Jungle reported structural damage from Irma, mostly from fallen trees damaging fences and roofs blown off of habitats. They also have no electricity to run the pump to bring water to the animals.

Miami Seaquarium's animals also sheltered in place, according to a Facebook post.

"Miami Seaquarium has been open at its present location since 1955 and it has withstood its fair share of storms," the park noted in a comment. "The park has an experienced and dedicated team working diligently to ensure our animals are safe."

This includes the 50-year-old Lolita, the park's only orca.

Lolita has been the subject of protests at the park amid concerns that her enclosure may not meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture's standards, the Miami Herald reported in June.

There's no word yet on how the Seaquarium's animals fared.

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