Observers will watch animals as they anticipate the solar eclipse

8 months 1 week 16 hours 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
KANSAS CITY-- The Royals dropped their second consecutive game to the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday, 6-2. The Royals struggled the... More >>
36 minutes ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 10:33:09 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS-- The St. Louis Cardinals rebounded from blowing a three-run lead in the first game of the series to... More >>
51 minutes ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 10:18:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in Continuous News
MACOMB, IL-- The Missouri Tigers softball team held Western Illinois scoreless in both games of a double-header Wednesday, resulting in... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 8:14:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in Continuous News
HOLTS SUMMIT - Joshua Lee is a retired sergeant from the Missouri National Guard where he served from 2007 to... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 8:00:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri moved to a new location to help feed more people... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 7:34:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri House committee investigating Republican Gov. Eric Greitens has hired former state Supreme... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 7:32:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - MU researchers say there will be 600 million people with some level of diabetic blindness by the year... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 7:27:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Downtown Leadership Council wants more parking spaces for customers and visitors downtown. The Downtown Leadership Council... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 6:58:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
SWEET SPRINGS - As temperatures rise in Central Missouri, so do fishermen's aspirations of landing their trophy catch. Missouri's lakes... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - "Organic" and "non-GMO"—these food labels adorn all kinds of products, from breakfast cereal to snack food. And according... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
BELLERIVE (AP) — The University of Missouri-St. Louis is considering eliminating some degree programs amid financial trouble. A committee... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 5:17:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY - Beloved former Royal Lorenzo Cain made his much-anticipated return to Kauffman Stadium Tuesday night. Cain, now... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 4:04:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in Sports
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Missouri State University and its food supplier are investigating to determine how a small mouse was found... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 3:50:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A study out this week finds high stress levels among elementary teachers affect student behavior and performance. ... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 3:38:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - More than 100 immigrants gathered to become American citizens at the naturalization ceremony Wednesday afternoon. "It's... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 3:29:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Legal experts say Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was not entitled to use a donor list... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 3:11:56 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The head of an MU Latino student group said Wednesday a court ruling to protect the Deferred Action... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 3:06:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH - Hundreds celebrated the life of Miller County sheriff's deputy Casey Shoemate Wednesday morning. Shoemate died Friday... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 2:49:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
11pm 53°
12am 52°
1am 51°
2am 50°