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

'Night At The Fiestas' Spins Stories Of Faith And Family

Kirstin Valdez Quade's debut book of short fiction is inspired by her family and its long history in the "romanticized" region of northern New Mexico.
NPR

Not Just Sugary-Sweet, Hard Cider Makes A Comeback

Cider is the fastest-growing alcoholic beverage in the United States. Much of that growth is driven by big industrial producers, but smaller cider-makers are looking for a larger bite of the apple.
NPR

Nigerian President Faces Tough Reelection Campaign

Nigerians head to the polls Saturday to vote for their new president. The incumbent Goodluck Jonathan faces former military leader, Muhammadu Buhari, who says he's tough on security and corruption.
NPR

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

Clean Reader — an app designed to find, block and replace profanity in books — has drawn considerable criticism from authors. This week, makers of the app announced they would no longer sell e-books.

Leave a Comment

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