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.”