The Smithsonian National Zoo:

The vibrations from yesterday’s 5.8 earthquake were keenly felt at the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park; all animals, staff and visitors were safe and no injuries were reported. […] Animal care staff recognized changes in animal behavior.

Great Apes

  • The earthquake hit the Great Ape House and Think Tank Exhibit during afternoon feeding time.
  • About five to ten seconds before the quake, many of the apes, including Kyle (an orangutan) and Kojo (a Western lowland gorilla), abandoned their food and climbed to the top of the tree-like structure in the exhibit.
  • About three seconds before the quake, Mandara (a gorilla) let out a shriek and collected her baby, Kibibi, and moved to the top of the tree structure as well.
  • 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.

Small Mammals

  • The red ruffed lemurs sounded an alarm call about 15 minutes before the quake and then again just after it occurred.
  • The howler monkeys sounded an alarm call just after the earthquake.
  • The black-and-rufous giant elephant shrew hid in his habitat and refused to come out for afternoon feeding.

Reptile Discovery Center

  • All the snakes began writhing during the quake (copperheads, cotton mouth, false water cobra, etc.). Normally, they remain inactive during the day.
  • Murphy, the Zoo’s Komodo dragon, sought shelter inside.


  • One of the volunteers at the Invertebrate Exhibit was feeding the cuttlefish and it was not responsive. The water is normally very calm in the tank, but the earthquake caused the tank to shake and created waves, which distracted the cuttlefish during feeding.


  • Keepers were feeding the beavers and hooded mergansers (a species of duck) when the earthquake hit. The ducks immediately jumped into the pool. The beavers stopped eating, stood on their hind legs and looked around, then got into the water, too. They all stayed in the water. Within an hour, some of the beavers returned to land to continue eating.

Great Cats

  • The lion pride was outside. They all stood still and faced the building, which rattled during the quake. All settled down within minutes.
  • Damai (a female Sumatran tiger) jumped at the start of the earthquake in a startled fashion. Her behavior returned to normal after the quake.

Bird House

  • The Zoo has a flock of 64 flamingos. Just before the quake, the birds rushed about and grouped themselves together. They remained huddled during the quake.

Front Royal

  • During the quake all Eld’s deer and tufted deer immediately ran out of the barns and appeared agitated.
  • The Prezwalski’s horses and scimitar-horned oryx hardly noticed although those that were inside did amble outside eventually.
  • Immediately after the quake the female Eld’s deer herd began alarm calling (a high staccato barking sound) until they were called by their keeper and subsequently all congregated in the corner of the pasture nearest the keeper for a short time.

Giant Pandas

  • According to keepers, the giant pandas did not appear to respond to the earthquake.
  1. onewayup reblogged this from red-dumpling
  2. red-dumpling reblogged this from maxistentialist
  3. nucleation reblogged this from maxistentialist
  4. roguehaycorns reblogged this from trevorstmcgoodbody and added:
    The Smithsonian National Zoo: The vibrations from yesterday’s 5.8 earthquake were keenly felt at the Smithsonian’s...
  5. o-so-riginal reblogged this from xplizitazn and added:
    Tha pandas aint give a shit, continued eating their bamboo cuz,
  6. tieitdown reblogged this from xplizitazn
  7. xplizitazn reblogged this from trevorstmcgoodbody
  8. iiresurreccion reblogged this from maxistentialist
  9. iamsimple-enough reblogged this from absolutterms
  10. anodditea reblogged this from stellarstellastars
  11. stellarstellastars reblogged this from maxistentialist
  12. absolutterms reblogged this from maxistentialist
  13. ataxiwardance reblogged this from maxistentialist and added:
    (props to maxistentialist)
  14. maybetheft reblogged this from maxistentialist
  15. trevorstmcgoodbody reblogged this from maxistentialist and added:
    Fascinating. Also: Pandas do not give a fuq bout no earfquakez
  16. kobysattva reblogged this from maxistentialist and added:
    Moral of the story: Panda’s are fucking worthless
  17. actsasanaxis reblogged this from maxistentialist and added:
    The Smithsonian National Zoo: The vibrations from yesterday’s 5.8 earthquake were keenly felt at the Smithsonian’s...
  18. erictripoli reblogged this from maxistentialist
  19. sonicbloom11 reblogged this from maxistentialist
  20. maxistentialist posted this