Observers will watch animals as they anticipate the solar eclipse

10 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 7:03:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in Eclipse Science
By: Stephanie Sandoval, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

KANSAS CITY - People will have their eyes on the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, but they will also have their eyes on animals. 

Although not in the path of totality, the Kansas City Zoo will still have its own viewing experience. Sean Putney, Senior Director of Zoological Operations, said it will be interesting to see how animals react during the solar eclipse. 

“We have a little employee area where people can use their glasses that they get to look at the eclipse, but more of our animal staff will be looking at their animals and seeing how they react to the eclipse.”

A Planetarium Educator at the St. Louis Science Center said there will not be any dramatic changes in animal behavior. 

“Nature will respond in ways that are somewhat predictable,” Eric Gustafson said. “Cows might go to their barns. Chickens will go to their coop. You’ll hear different insects start to become active. You may see geese flying home to roost and do a U-turn as day comes back. But the animal that will be the strangest is of course the human beings.”

The St. Louis Science Center will host a SciFest the weekend before the eclipse called SciFest: Eclipsed. 

Gustafson said he is excited about seeing totality. 

"I’ve seen a number of solar eclipses," Gustafson said. "I have never seen a total solar eclipse. This could be the last chance for me to see one. So I can’t wait to see it. I’ve been talking about it here in star shows for about 16 years. For 2 minutes and 40 seconds of my life, I can’t wait.” 

And although the science center will not be doing any research with animals specifically on the day of the solar eclipse, scientists there will be watching the animals they have at the center. 

“We do have our Grow exhibit that has some chickens, and I believe they’re gonna put some cameras on them to see how they behave,” Gustafson said. 

Putney said he’s interested in seeing how orangutans react. 

“Orangutans in particular are very smart,” Putney said. “To me they’re the smartest of the great apes, and they have a thought process that really is not rivaled by any other animals other than humans as far as I can see. They can solve problems. They can really think and not just react.”

Putney said the zoo is not worried about animals getting startled because of the slow pace of the eclipse. 

“I don’t think any of the animals will be fearful of it. I think they’ll just react in a way that, 'Darkness is coming and what should I do to prepare for the darkness or a potential storm?'” Putney said. 

Animals don’t need special glasses during the solar eclipse. Putney said there’s nothing to worry about. 

“On a daily basis you don’t see too many animals staring at the sun to begin with, so I would doubt that that habit would change any for this day,” Putney said.

For more Show Me Eclipse coverage, visit komu.com/eclipse. 

 

More News

Grid
List
TUESDAY - Hy-Vee recalled its Spring Pasta Salad from 244 stores on Tuesday. Company officials said 20 illnesses by... More >>
38 minutes ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 5:54:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in Continuous News
STURGEON - The oldest county fair west of the Mississippi kicks off Tuesday in Sturgeon. The Boone County fair... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:49:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY – Expecting mothers in Boone County will soon have more services at their disposal. The county received... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:16:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Grain Belt Express Clean Line, a proposed energy transmission project through northern Missouri, got new life... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:59:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - A child identification program wants to help parents be as prepared as possible in the event that a... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:41:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Nineteen agencies received more than $115,000 in grant money Tuesday from the United Way of Central Missouri.... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:56:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some people may notice their trash laying out on the curb for longer than usual on Tuesday. ... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:12:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - A car chase which started in Cole County on Tuesday ended in Columbia with two arrests. ... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:22:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The group fighting a ballot measure that would make Missouri a right-to-work state has outraised its... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:17:30 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say two planes carrying more than 250 passengers made emergency landings at Kansas City International... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:11:34 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police records related to the shooting death of Rovon Blocker suggest the incident appeared to be accidental. ... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:39:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Three Fulton men are in custody after being charged with stealing and drug offenses, in connection to... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:01:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
FULTON - A judge sentenced a man convicted of a dozen sex crimes, some involving children, to sixty years in... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 8:05:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States is open to holding direct talks with the Taliban to encourage negotiations between the... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 4:30:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) - A 29-year-old gun-rights activist served as a covert Russian agent while living in Washington, gathering intelligence on... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 4:14:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – City council approved two public hearings in August to discuss possible increases to the property tax and sewer... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 7:46:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Former Gov. Eric Greitens' campaign spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees in his... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 7:03:27 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to rename the Columbia post office located on Walnut... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 6:51:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 86°
7pm 85°
8pm 83°
9pm 80°
10pm 78°