Toledo Zoo Planning Special Event for Upcoming Solar Eclipse

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The Toledo Zoo has a fun day planned for the solar eclipse on April 8, and the zoo will also be monitoring to see how the eclipse affects the resident zoo animals.

The zoo will also provide a sensory area which is a quiet zone with sensory-friendly activities and dedicated staff and volunteers to assist with any sensory needs

ClickOnDetroit reports that Beth Posta, the Curator of Behavioral Husbandry and Research at the Toledo Zoo, will be one of the people monitoring to see what effect the eclipse has on the zoo animals. "There have been some animals during total eclipses that during totality show signs of fear and anxiety. So, we’re curious to see if we see some of those signs of confusion where animals don’t know what’s going on, but then they kinda work through it,” Posta said.

Due to their habitat, some animals may get more attention than others.

"The brown bears, the tigers, the cougars, as well as the polar bears, sea lions, bald eagles, and a couple of bird species,” Posta said. “The other animals may do nothing. I would expect animals that are inside under artificial light, we don’t expect to change. Some of the nocturnal animals probably won’t even notice.”

Related: Zoo Animals Cool Down With a Tasty Snack in Video We Can't Resist

In addition to studying how the animals react, the Toledo Zoo has some fun events planned for their human guests. These include Free eclipse glasses (while supplies last), animal demonstrations and observations, character meet and greets a bounce house, musical entertainment and according to the zoo, "other fun activities throughout the day!"

How Animals May React During the Eclipse

ABC New reports that Angela Speck, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Texas at San Antonio, said "Once it gets to about 75%, 80% eclipsed, there's enough sunlight missing that animals will start to react."

About 20 minutes from totality, birds will start to flock. Some will quiet down. Farm animals, like cows and chickens, will walk back to the barn because they think it's now nighttime, previous research as shown.

The article also states that previous research has shown that bees stop buzzing during totality and returned to their hives.

USA Today reports that during previous events, flamingos gathered in a circle around their babies to protect them. Giraffes began galloping around their enclosure. Swarms of birds large enough to appear on radar suddenly left the sky and roosted in trees. Gorillas marched to their dens, expecting their final meal of the day. The ancient Galapagos tortoises started mating.

Bears? Bears didn't care about the eclipse at all. It will be fascinating to see what scientists discover about animal behavior during this solar eclipse.

You can find he schedule of events for the Total Eclipse at The Zoo event and purchase your tickets here.

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