ABQ Biopark Zoo prepares for severe weather
August 08, 2018 06:44 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - An unprecedented hail storm, with some stones as large as softballs, pummeled the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado, injuring 14 people and killing two animals.
That weather phenomenon did not go unnoticed at the Albuquerque Biopark Zoo.
"That was such a hard thing for the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to face," said Dr. Baird Fleming, Deputy CEO of the Albuquerque BioPark.
In 2013, a thunderstorm wreaked havoc at the Albuquerque Zoo, causing a lot of damage. Fortunately, no animals or people were injured.
Baird says the zoo has plans in place to protect every person and every animal during severe weather.
"We run a series of severe weather drills every year. We make sure we come up with new scenarios every time. These are live action drills," said Fleming.
The first goal is to get people into designated shelters.
Zookeepers are in charge of keeping the animals safe.
"We're trying to get every single animal out there to be trained on a recall signal," said Fleming.
Zookeepers train the animals to learn hand signals and voice commands.
"If something happens, we can run out there and recall the animals. They come to the back in their holding areas - which are buildings," said Fleming.
Once inside, the animals can ride the storm out, preventing needless injury or death.
Created: August 08, 2018 06:44 PM
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