For those who have had a chance to walk around the park after the hurricane, you know that one of the largest, and probably most iconic tree that was taken down by the storm was the huge ficus on the hyena exhibit.
11.10.2017 14:45 |
Zoo Miami |
Zoo Miami, Fallen tree after hurricane Irma, Hyena exhibit
Because of its massive size and the probability that even if we were to stand it up again, it would fall in another strong storm, the decision was made to trim the top and leave it on the exhibit as a new piece of “furniture” for the hyenas. The hope is that the fallen tree will serve as additional enrichment for the animals while still providing shade under its massive trunk. There is also a strong possibility that because some of the roots remain underground, that the tree will sprout new branches that will grow at a 90 degree angle to the fallen ones as they reach for the sun and create an even more interesting tree.
Additionally, the fallen tree serves as a strong visual reminder of the power of hurricanes and as a historical landmark recognizing our surviving Hurricane Irma. There are plans to install signs in the front of the exhibit with images and history of the tree and the hurricane to help educate future visitors of our history with hurricanes.
On wednesday, was the first day that the hyenas were given access to their exhibit since it was “remodeled” by the hurricane their first reactions could be captured to the “different” structure. Though they were initially very apprehensive to get close to the fallen tree, the male eventually became curious and started to explore. The female preferred to stay in the pool and never really got close to the tree!