The Washington Post

Quake coverage: Zoo flack outdoes entire journalism world

For nearly a day now, scribes everywhere have been killing themselves to pen the best, most immediate, most entertaining earthquake coverage. And they’ve all been eclipsed by a press release.

The communications office of the National Zoo saw fit to issue an extended note on the quake’s impact on its grounds. As the release states: “Animal care staff recognized changes in animal behavior.”

Which turns out to be an understatement. My favorite entry in the animal-reaction log is this one:

Iris (an orangutan) began “belch vocalizing” — an unhappy/upset noise normally reserved for extreme irritation — before the quake and continued this vocalization following the quake.

That was a bit more dramatic than what the giant pandas did.

A staffer in the zoo’s communications department reports that the log on animal reactions was compiled by a “conglomerate of keepers.”

(h/t @BDayspring)

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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