Animals, Intuition, & Earthquakes

Zoo Animals Sensed DC Quake Minutes Before It Hit

Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Managing Editor
Date: 24 August 2011 Time: 01:49 PM ET
african lions sit at the Smithsonian National Zoo
The Smithsonian Zoo’s lions did react to the earthquake, but went back to their routines within minutes of the shaking, while other animals were more irritated by the quake, sending out alarm calls and hiding.
CREDIT: Smithsonian’s National Zoo

People along the East Coast weren’t the only ones to feel the 5.8-magnitude earthquake Tuesday, as zoo animals in Washington, D.C., let it be known they felt the vibrations, zoo officials said.

Some of the animals at the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park even shouted alarm calls or ran up trees seconds before the rest of us felt the shaking.

About 5 to 10 seconds before Tuesday’s quake, an orangutan named Kyle and a Western lowland gorilla named Kojo, abandoned their food and climbed to the top of the treelike structure in the Ape House exhibit.

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