Zoo Miami closing for Hurricane Ian for two days

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Flamingos huddling in the bathroom of Miami Metrozoo (later renamed Zoo Miami).  Ron Magill along with the staff of then Miami Metrozoo) rounded up the flamingos and put them in the bathroom for safety against Hurricane Andrew in August 1992.

Flamingos huddling in the bathroom of Miami Metrozoo (later renamed Zoo Miami). Ron Magill along with the staff of then Miami Metrozoo) rounded up the flamingos and put them in the bathroom for safety against Hurricane Andrew in August 1992.

The (semi) good news: Hurricane Ian won’t make landfall in South Florida, but we’re not exactly out of the woods.

According to the weather service, from Tuesday through Wednesday, the region could see massive amounts of rain, from 4 to 8 inches, rip currents and flash flooding.

Floridians could start to feel Ian’s winds and rains Tuesday, with hurricane conditions expected along the west coast Wednesday.

If you have any events planned, you may want to check with the organizer’s website or social media for any updates. As far as closures, Zoo Miami is not taking any chances and shutting its doors both Tuesday and Wednesday.

“[We] pray that everyone remains safe as we continue to hope for the best but prepare for what might not be,” says a release.

Employees will be getting the zoo ready for the storm, according to an Instagram post.

“Although Miami is currently not within the cone of concern with regard to the hurricane itself, significant wind and rain is possible from outer bands that could result in damage and interruption in services,” says the South Miami attraction. “Therefore, zoo staff will spend Tuesday storing any objects that may become airborne or vulnerable in strong winds as well as ensuring that all equipment (vehicles, generators, maintenance tools, etc.) are fueled and tested.”

As for the critters, they’ll be secured in their evening holding areas early on Tuesday, along with food and fresh water “in preparation for what will likely be an extended period of what will hopefully only be inclement weather but ready for what may be worse.”

On Wednesday, staff will assess any damage and flooding concerns that may restrict some animals from accessing their habitats due to water levels in the surrounding moats.

During Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the catastrophic storm demolished the flamingo habitat, and birds had to be famously herded into the bathroom into the facility then known as Miami Metrozoo.

READ MORE: These places were damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Andrew. Here’s an update

After the unforgettable Cat 5, it took more than 10 years for the zoo to completely rebuild; the aviary didn’t reopen until 2003, Zoo Miami spokesperson Ron Magill told the Miami Herald for Andrew’s 30th anniversary.

Profile Image of Madeleine Marr

Celebrity/real time news reporter Madeleine Marr has been with The Miami Herald since 2003. She has covered such features as travel, fashion and food. In 2007, she helped launch the newspaper’s daily People Page, attending red carpet events, awards ceremonies and press junkets; interviewing some of the biggest names in show business; and hosting her own online show. She is originally from New York City and has two daughters.

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