As Irma nears Florida, concern for animals a major issue - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

As Irma nears Florida, concern for animals a major issue

By TIM REYNOLDS
Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) - Florida zoos, theme parks, rescue centers and just about anyplace else dealing with animals have been bracing for Hurricane Irma's arrival.

Five dolphins were moved from the Florida Keys to Central Florida in advance of the storm, but most zoos and the like in the Miami area said they were trying to keep their animals in place and secure from whatever Irma will bring.

Facilities like SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will have workers on-site at all hours to care for and monitor the animals.

The damage from Hurricane Andrew in 1992 lingers in Florida's Everglades. The invasive Burmese pythons that researchers say have decimated populations of native mammals are believed to be descended from exotic snake breeding facilities in and around Homestead destroyed by Andrew's winds.

Associated Press Writer Jennifer Kay in Miami contributed to this story.

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