Florida is home to several alligator farms, not to mention the fact that alligators also roam freely throughout the state. However, alligator farms must take extra precautions to ensure that their dangerous critters don’t wander during the storm.
At the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, keepers began getting ready for rising water during Hurricane Irma by draining some of the water out of the enclosure where more than 200 alligators and crocodiles live so they don’t swim away.
“As they feel the low pressure come in, they all submerge to the bottom, and they wait,” John Brueggen with the farm told WJXX-TV. “Everywhere in the park is a minimum of two fences and in some places, there’s three.”
The park also holds venomous snakes, which keepers must stuff into pillow cases and then locked boxes equipped with air holes. It might sound cruel, but Brueggen explained that this method calms the animals down and keeps them safe.
He noted that it takes less than five hours to secure all of the birds and monkeys on the property, which are then put into indoor kennels.
Handlers place the larger birds in the farm’s public restrooms, which Brueggen said worked well during last year’s hurricane.
“The bathrooms a great place,” he said, noting that they’re really easy to clean. “We can bleach it from one end to the other.”
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