Fireworks cause worries for Albuquerque zookeepers


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – While most humans love fireworks, animals definitely do not. And that will be a problem at the zoo over the Fourth of July weekend, a problem that will keep a lot of the zookeepers up at night.

KRQE News 13 learned Friday that it’s the elephants that would really love to forget what they’re about to experience the next few nights.

The crowd goes crazy for a good fireworks show, but most animals at Albuquerque’s zoo just want to find a place to hide. And most of them don’t have the luxury of going into a shell.

This weekend zookeepers will give some of the high-profile animal’s options.

“Some of our animals will have the choice to be inside or outside, so they can be comfortable outside, they start to hear those fireworks and they can move into their spaces,” said Rhonda Saiers, elephant manager.

The elephants are the big concern because they’re in the outer part of the zoo and are sensitive to explosions and vibrations. Zookeepers say the elephants will be locked inside at night for the 4th.

The big primates are a concern too, so the gorillas, chimps and orangutans will be able to duck inside at night if they get scared.

After the crowds are gone from the zoo and the illegal fireworks start lighting up the night sky, the zookeepers will be worrying and so will zoo lovers, knowing animals and fireworks don’t mix.

“I think they might hurt their ears because the fireworks are very loud,” said Jacob Lopez.

“Because the fireworks are loud and maybe if someone shoots them kind of far they might hit one,” said Marcus Lopez.

But leave it to the kids to come up with a quick plan to protect the animals.

“I will stay with them,” said Eryn Massey.

“I think you should, um, uh, put a cover on them a little bit,” said Marcus.

Zookeepers say they won’t have to spend any nights down here over the holiday weekend watching over animals.

Of course, there is security here every night and they can call in zookeepers if any of the animals are having a really rough time.

If you’re looking to head to zoo on July 4th to give the animals some moral support, it’s open for an extra hour until 6 p.m. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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