WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Zoo Animals Knew About Earthquake Ahead of Time

Play associated audio
Lemurs at the National Zoo started wailing 15 minutes before the Mineral quake rocked the D.C. region.
Christa Burns (http://www.flickr.com/photos/christajoy42/5562862633/)
Lemurs at the National Zoo started wailing 15 minutes before the Mineral quake rocked the D.C. region.

The National Zoo says some of its animals knew about yesterday's quake well before any humans did.

Fifteen minutes before yesterday's quake, the lemurs at the zoo started wailing. Soon, other creatures started acting strangely too.

"Some of our apes, gorillas and orangutans dropped the food they were given, some of them vocalized in unusual ways, irritated or agitated vocalizations, and some of the birds huddled together and jumped towards water sources, which are what a lot of water birds will do in danger," said Heidi Helmuth, a curator at the zoo.

She says this is probably because the animals heard sounds ahead of the earthquake that we couldn't hear.

"Some of them have much different senses than we do," said Helmuth. "So, for example, elephants, they have infra-sound so they can hear things at a much lower frequency than the human ear can, just like a bat can hear at a much higher frequency than we can."

Helmuth says all the animals are doing fine now.

WAMU 88.5

Auction Of Artifacts In Paris Stirs Protest At American Indian Museum In D.C.

"It's almost like seeing one of our own tribal members being auctioned off," says a member of California's Hoopa tribe who denounced the auction during an event at the National Museum of the American Indian.

WAMU 88.5

D.C.'s Public Schools Select New Lunch Providers

D.C. Public Schools is abandoning longtime school food provider Chartwells in the wake of allegations of poor food quality and fraud and moving forward with new vendors for 2016. But, questions remain about the selection process and future oversight.

WAMU 88.5

Creating A D.C. State Constitution

We explore the historic process of crafting a constitution for D.C. statehood nearly three decades after the last attempt, and find out how drafters are preparing for the June constitutional convention.

NPR

Watchdog: Hillary Clinton Violated State Dept. Policies By Using Private Email

A report issued by the department's inspector general found that previous secretaries of state also failed to comply with record-keeping and security policies.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.