Members of the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society team were deployed on Friday through Zoological Disaster Response, Rescue, and Recovery (ZDR3), the largest zoological disaster response organization in the United States. The Zoo team lent their skills to The Lemur Conservation Foundation in Myakka City, FL, located inland from Sarasota.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, flooding and downed trees were the top priority for the center, which includes three large wooded areas where the lemurs, small primates from Madagascar, roam. Palm Beach Zoo is sending grounds and zoological team members to assist in the recovery efforts to clear and repair fences and provide additional support for the resident lemurs and their caretakers.
“Our thoughts go out to all humans and animals affected by Hurricane Ian,” said Casey Coy, Palm Beach Zoo’s chief operations and safety officer. “Palm Beach Zoo has weathered its share of storms, and others have come to our aid. Through ZDR3, we are ready to give back and provide all the support we can to other zoos and endangered animal sanctuaries.”
Most non-domestic animals have highly specific dietary needs
, and food supply in many cases, was disrupted for those in Ian’s path. Earlier this week, Palm Beach Zoo also provided specialized animal food to both The Lemur Conservation Foundation and Iguanaland in Punta Gorda, FL. The ZDR3 team coordinates the collection and delivery of the necessary food.
ZDR3, whose members and leadership have extensive experience caring for exotic animals, provides support to zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries and other non-domesticated animal organizations before, during, and after significant incidents.
There are several excellent nonprofit and governmental disaster response organizations for domestic animals; however, they are often not equipped to safely manage the unique needs of non-domesticated animals. The ZDR3 response teams are on standby for deployment precisely because of their professional expertise.
To learn more about ZDR3, please visit: ZDR3.org.