The Naples Zoo remains closed on Thursday afternoon, with workers continuing to clean up after Hurricane Ian. But those who remained during the storm were able to make it through safely thanks to one of the zoo’s newer additions.
According to staff, the Naples Zoo has never experienced a storm with the level of flooding and wind that Hurricane Ian brought. During the storm, the zoo kept a “ride out” team of 10 personnel who bunkered with most of the smaller animals inside the zoo’s Glass Animal Hospital. The hospital was completed in 2019 and had never endured a hurricane before, but the building took no damage from flooding or wind.
The zoo has cleaned up most of the damage and debris but is still working to clean up the 12 small artificial islands where primates live. While most of the primate’s structures survived the storm, the zoo had to bring in special tree experts to clean the remaining lumber and ensure no other trees are in danger of falling.
Some animals, such as the giraffes and zebras, were allowed to remain in their zoo habitats throughout the storm.