CHATTANOOGA, TENN. - The United States is getting ready to experience its first coast to coast total solar eclipse in a century.
The once-in-a-lifetime eclipse will happen on August 21.
Many schools are closing for the day, some businesses are shutting down early and tourism in cities with the best views is expected to skyrocket.
The Chattanooga Zoo is also preparing for the special event.
Workers there are eager to see what impact the eclipse will have on animals at the zoo.
It’s something they’ve been thinking about for the past several months.
“It’ll be enough of a change in pace of the animal’s day that it’ll just mix things up a little bit for them,” Jeremy, the reptile keeper, told Channel 3, our NBC affiliate in Chattanooga.
He says it’ll probably make things a little confusing for the animals he cares for and that’s because of the two minutes of darkness that’ll happen in the middle of the afternoon which will likely make most animals believe it is night time.
“A lot of the nocturnal animals that get more comfortable when it's dark out, they might start to see that and feel comfortable coming out. It'll probably be a little confusing for them because they have their set photo periods during the day,” said Jeremy. “Some of our other birds, they get crankier if it gets dark because they can't see quite as well and they get much more nervous so we might keep closer tabs on them to make sure they're not overly stressing,” he continued.
The zoo will likely bring some animals indoors to keep them from becoming too stressed and move others outside so they can enjoy the event.
“Several of our snakes tend to perk up a bit once it gets darker,” he told our NBC affiliate WRCB-TV in Chattanooga.
No one knows exactly how the animals will respond but at the Chattanooga Zoo they’ll be watching the animals’ behavior and documenting it for the future.
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