Video shows how San Antonio Zoo animals reacted during April 8 solar eclipse

Activities weren’t uncommon for the animals but were performed in a different context than usual

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Zoo released some video clips showing how animals reacted during Monday’s solar eclipse.

The zoo was just outside the path of totality. Still, about 99.9% of the sun was blocked by the moon.

Zoo officials said the meerkats ran through their habitat in one large group while the whooping cranes “danced” and the flamingos bunched in a cluster.

While those activities aren’t uncommon for the animals, they were performed in a different context than usual.

Meerkats are highly social animals that stick together. They usually hunt during the day and retreat to their underground burrows at night to rest and avoid nocturnal predators. Zoo officials said the meerkats approached and entered their indoor habitat space a few minutes before totality, which is something they would typically do in the evening. The behavior “supported our working hypothesis that diurnal animals, meaning those awake during the day, would display their typical evening activity patterns during totality,” zoo officials said.

“While it’s possible some of this behavior may have been coincidental, this certainly caused a difference in the typical day for all of us - humans and animals!” said Cyle Perez, director of public relations.

Zoos across the country were excited to study animals’ behavior on Monday. Researchers have found that many animals display behaviors connected with an early dusk.

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About the Author

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

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