Nashville Zoo Guests to Record Animal Behavior During Solar Eclipse
Do animals behave differently when experiencing a total solar eclipse? That’s what Nashville Zoo intends to find out a year from now, Aug. 21, 2017 when much of Middle Tennessee will witness an event that last took place in this area more than 150 years ago. To accomplish this, Zoo officials are asking guests to observe and record while experiencing the event.
“There is not a lot of documented observation of animal behavior during a solar eclipse,” says Chad Fifer, Nashville Zoo’s education director. “We’ve read that some animals begin preparing for sleep, some nocturnal animals begin waking up, and others are not affected at all. We are very interested in discovering what our animals will do.”
For Nashville, the solar eclipse will begin at roughly noon on Aug. 21, 2017 and reach totality about an hour and half later. Totality (when the moon is completely covering the sun) will last about 1.5 minutes before the sun begins to shine again. During this time, Nashville Zoo guests will be encouraged to record animal behaviors through various means including photos, video and written observation. The Zoo will provide methods of gathering all data to share with future research.
“This is a huge learning opportunity for science classrooms and home-school students in our area,” says Fifer. “We will be offering tips on observing animals and our keepers will also be at exhibits during the eclipse to answer questions and point out atypical behaviors.”
About Nashville Zoo
Nashville Zoo is accredited by the prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. Attracting more than 800,000 visitors annually, the Zoo is considered one of the top things to do in Nashville. The Zoo is a non-profit organization located at 3777 Nolensville Pike and is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The mission of Nashville Zoo is to inspire a culture of understanding and discovery of our natural world through conservation, innovation and leadership. For more information about Nashville Zoo, call 615-833-1534 or visit www.nashvillezoo.org.