Solar eclipse: How will animals react?

Solar eclipse: How will animals react?
Ben Roberts (Source: WALB)
Ben Roberts (Source: WALB)
Some animals will be confused by Monday's eclipse (Source: WALB)
Some animals will be confused by Monday's eclipse (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The countdown is on to Monday's solar eclipse.

As the day goes dark Monday afternoon, it could cause animals to show some wacky behaviors.

Ben Roberts, the director of animal care at Chehaw, said most animals won't be largely impacted by Monday's eclipse, but they might exhibit some different behaviors.

During the partial eclipse, animals who are usually active at dawn and dusk like birds, will begin their nighttime routines.

Animals who are active at night like bats might come out for that brief period of totality.

Roberts said while the eclipse could throw off some animals' normal routines.

"It's going to be confusing," he said. "It's like waking up and your alarm didn't go off, and you're expecting it to be dark outside and all of a sudden it's light outside and you panic. That same general kind of concept."

Roberts said scientists across the country will be closely studying the animals during Monday's eclipse.

In past studies, researchers have spotted behaviors like spiders taking their webs down during a total eclipse, bees returning to their hives, or chimps in a zoo staring at the sky.

As for household pets, Roberts said he doesn't expect they will behave any differently. He advises people to keep an eye on them just in case or keep them indoors during the eclipse.

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