Florida cranes have been pictured sheltering from Hurricane Ian in a “nice safe bathroom.”
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park posted photos to Facebook, showing two of its resident cranes in one of the park’s bathrooms.
“We’ve set them up with food, water and comfortable perching. Don’t worry, we also turned off the Frog Calls,” the park said in the Facebook post.
Hurricane Ian made landfall on September 28. Officials predicted the storm would be category 4, with winds reaching between 130 to 156 miles per hour. When it hit, the strong winds bordered on Category 5 level. Such storms can cause catastrophic damage. Few category 5 storms have made landfall in US history.
It’s one of the worst storms Florida has ever seen.
Before the storm hit, many wildlife parks and zoos across the state put preparation procedures in place to protect the animals against the severe conditions.
A video posted to TikTok shows staff at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park carrying the cranes into the bathroom. A staff member can be seen carrying one of the birds into the building.
“So what do you think when you walk into a bathroom and see this,” a keeper can be heard saying.
The camera then pans to show food, water and a perch, set up for the bids in the bathroom.
“[…] This will be where our cranes are going to survive for the storm,” the keeper says in the video. “[…]We’ve got a nice safe bathroom for a crane.”
The park said in a caption to the TikTok video that the cranes are made “as comfortable as possible,” and are “safely secured.”
Another video posted to TikTok showed the park staff setting up a crane in the guest bathroom.
In the video, the keeper says that they are being kept in the bathroom as it is a “nice secure building.”
“We are locking the stork up in the bathroom because it’s secure and we don’t have to put him in a crate which would make him more uncomfortable. […] He’s done this before in a few storms so far,” he says.
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is the only park in the world housing all 24 crocodilian species. They also outlined how they are keeping their crocodilians safe from the storm.
“The alligators and crocodiles will remain in their pools and we’ve lowered the water levels to account for the additional water that Hurricane Ian will drop,” an update posted to Facebook said.
Maximo and Sydney—two of the park’s resident saltwater crocodiles—will stay in their pool.
“Their comfort doesn’t change much, they get to stay right where they normally are. This pool has been through much worse than Hurricane Ian will be when it gets here. They will do their thing. […] They will be here guaranteed right where they belong on Friday morning,” the keeper said in another vide.
Newsweek has contacted St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park for comment.