KWTX | Waco, Texas Content

Will the solar eclipse affect your animals?

By  | 

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The August 21st solar eclipse will be visible from everywhere in the United States. For many, it'll close enough to darkness to make it interesting for some animals.

How will your furry friends react during the phenomenon?

“It won’t be like the old horror movies where you have large herds of animals, large flocks of birds that are all fleeing down the roads in panic because something has changed,” Topeka Zoo Education Curator Dennis Dinwiddie said.

In reality, Dinwiddie said animals deal with changing nature every day. He says a solar eclipse won't have any major effects on animals, but they may act a little strange.

“It will not for example affect any of the normal patterns like migration for example. It won’t affect their internal clock that much, it will probably arouse a great deal of curiosity for them,” Dinwiddie said.

Probably the biggest change you’ll notice is from the birds.

“Are they going to be quiet or loud? That will be a very interesting thing for us to discover, we anticipate that as the darkness falls on them, that they are going to suddenly think, has it become evening, should we go into our evening routine of being quiet and no longer singing and no longer making any noise, and prepare to sleep. But a couple minutes later as it’s light again they are going to think the evening has passed, and now we have to go into our morning song routine,” Dinwiddie said.

And what about protecting your animals eyes?

"You're not going to have to go out and put the eclipse glasses on on all of your dogs and cats outdoors because they're not going to stare at the sun long enough to cause them pain, and discomfort or damage,” Dinwiddie said.

Since solar eclipse research is sparing, Dinwiddie is encouraging anyone who can to visit their local zoo and observe the animals during the eclipse.

"There are places that you can report the observations that you make among how animals react to that so that it can become part of a scientific study on how do animals react to a total eclipse, and we are challenging people to come to the zoo and watch how our animals react to the eclipse," Dinwiddie said.