Why did animals sense the quake before it happened?

August 24, 2011 2:55:46 PM PDT
They're not only cute and exciting to see, they also have some pretty extraordinary senses.

Many of the animals here at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. started reacting to the 5.8 magnitude quake before it even started.

"Everyone was wondering what was going on with the animals," said Don Moore, associate director of Animal Care Sciences at the National Zoo.

The gorillas started shrieking and quickly climbed to the tree-tops.

Elephants started making noises to warn each other.

All of these reactions happened just seconds before any human felt the shaking.

If that seems amazing, the lemurs and monkeys started reacting 15 minutes before the quake.

Zoo officials couldn't say why some animals felt the vibrations before others, but they can explain why they were able to sense the quake before we could.

"They have to be more aware of things going on. I'm not surprised at all that they're able to know to intuit that these things are going to happen before they do. That's how they survive," Moore said.

And while the animals settle back on more stable ground, zoo officials are still getting a kick out of their seemingly psychic species.

We're told all of the animals are doing just fine today. A formal study of the animal reactions to the earthquake is already underway.


LINK TO USGS MAP: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/Maps/US10/32.42.-85.-75.php

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