Zoo Animals Knew About Earthquake Ahead of Time | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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.

NPR

'The Bishop's Wife' Tracks A Killer In A Mormon Community

The mystery about the disappearance of a young Mormon woman was inspired by a real-life story. Author Mette Ivie Harrison talks about her own struggles with faith and stereotypes of Mormon mothers.
NPR

Nutmeg Spice Has A Secret Story That Isn't So Nice

Nutmeg is a feel-good holiday spice. But it once caused serious bloodshed and may have even been a reason the Dutch were willing to part with Manhattan in the 1600s.
WAMU 88.5

Special Prosecutors Should Handle Civilian Shootings By Police, Holmes Norton Says

Norton says mayors and governors could stem anger over civilian shootings by police by appointing special prosecutors to handle them.
NPR

Pyongyang Blames U.S. Amid Reports Of New Internet Outages

Pyongyang has accused President Obama of "reckless words and deeds" and said the U.S. is "playing hide and seek as children with runny noses would."

Leave a Comment

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