We’ve all been waiting for the downpour of El Niño to hit Los Angeles by storm. But after being in such a long drought, rain is as familiar to Los Angelenos as the desert is to a snow leopard.
Instead of staying at home when the rain finally comes, as if there’s nothing to do but wait on the couch for it to subside, consider the better option of visiting the L.A. Calling all brave souls who dare to venture out into the “mysterious” rainfall; your reward is a practically private zoo.
Instead, feel like a VIP while basking in the beauty of nature at Griffith Park and indulging your inner adventurer. A stunning collection of creatures, many of the living amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles are species that can be seen at no other zoo in North America.
Travel from the LAIR’s damp forest to the desert and get a “behind-the-scenes” peek at the real-life drama of animal care. With dazzling sights like the golden poison dart frogs, sunburst diving beetles, and green tree python, you’ll hardly miss the sun.
At Rainforest Traders, find elegant accessories made of recycled paper, exceptional figurines repurposed from Indian Saris, and humorous stationery crafted with animal poop. Change it up and enjoy a day at the Zoo cuddled under an umbrella while watching a koala and her baby snuggle beneath a canopy of foliage.
I think people forget these animals are not made out of glass and can deal with mother nature. The only time animals are brought in is if it is severe weather such as tornados, blizzards, etc.
Where you will run into problems if the animals do not feel like being out in the rain and seek shelter... depending on how the yard is laid out it might make it difficult to see them. Apes are not a big fan of the rain, but otters love it.
Many zoo animals -- being the spoiled babies they are -- will choose to be indoors. If the indoor area is not open to the public, then you won't be able to see them.
The zoo staff will probably not close any exhibits unless the weather is severe, and a normal rain shower doesn't fit that criteria. A rainy day is actually a pretty good time to visit the zoo because there will be so few visitors to get in your way.
Probably the best zoo visit I ever had been at Bronx Park on a rainy day. Plus I think it would upset the animals and make it dangerous for the zookeepers to move them every time it rains.
Warm-blooded animals, including mammals and birds, need to keep their body temperatures steady. By the time they are adults, most mammals have thick, stiff, slick fur.
Birds also have a cool trick for keeping dry: They dip their bills into oil glands near their tails. In a big storm, birds and mammals don’t rely only on their feathered or furry coats.
The oily feathers on the black vultures (above left) help keep rain away from the birds’ skin. And thick fur lets a long-tailed macaque (Mubarak) ignore heavy rain (photo in circle).
Falling raindrops can drown out the sound of a sneaky lion or other predator. TAKE COVER Oily feathers and thick fur make pretty good raincoats.
A fox or wolf may find a cozy spot under a leafy shrub or in a cave. Mice or other small rodents might cuddle up together inside a hollow log.
Orangutans make “hats” out of big leaves to protect their heads during downpours. Sure, the tail gets wet, but the most important parts of the body stay nice and dry.
For these animals, a rainy day brings a chance to mate, a fun mud bath, or a quick trip. Earthworms spend most of their time underground because their bodies dry out in the air.
Of course, being out in the open is risky for juicy worms: Robins and other birds may pluck them up for a delicious “tweet.” It lives in dry places and spends most of its life alone underground to keep its body moist.
Spurred by the sound of thunder or rain, all the spade foots in the area dig their way out to find each other. The elephant family (above) wallows happily as a rainstorm turns a patch of dirt into an okay, gooey mud puddle.
An earthworm (photo in circle) pokes out of the ground after a rainfall, and a spade foot toad enjoys a refreshing soak after having spent several months underground. “It’s Raining!” originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of Ranger Rick magazine.
Heavy rains can be a nuisance for many animals, even those that live in water, which is why they've found novel ways to cope. With the rainy season now in full force across much of the United States, animals both in the wild and at zoos are coming up with some unique ways to cope.
In the forest during storms, orangutans will make protective canopies and “hats” out of leaves, but in zoos, they have found a more attractive material. Smaller animals like squirrels and mice will huddle together in such shelters, attempting to stay warm.
During torrential downpours, animals such as frogs, turtles and fish may retreat to lower levels of lakes and ponds, with some seeking added shelter under things like fallen rocks or driftwood. “Crocodiles are pretty good at dealing with inclement weather,” Nick Hanna, assistant curator at Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, told Discovery News.
The good news is that furry animals, such as giant pandas, tigers, brown bears, kangaroos and more, have all evolved an ability to shake themselves dry in mere seconds. Recently, Andrew Dickerson of the Georgia Institute of Technology alongside colleagues Zachary Mills and David HU determined that this shaking is tuned to the perfect frequency for each species, in terms of its size and anatomy.
“By whipping around the body, it increases the speed of drops leaving the animal and the ensuing dryness relative to tight dermal tissue,” Dickerson and his team explained. For animal lovers, a family day out at the zoo at first seems like an easy and enjoyable way to get up close with some of our favorite creatures.
Keeping a tiger or a lion in a cramped cage is detrimental to their physical or mental health, and it’s not always safe for humans either. If you have seen an animal exhibiting stereotypic behavior such as rocking, swaying, or endlessly pacing in an enclosure in a zoo, it’s likely they are suffering from this condition.
While big cats have attacked people in the wild, in a zoo environment, there is perhaps more room for accidents to happen. In March 2019, for example, a woman was attacked by a jaguar after climbing a barrier at Arizona Zoo aiming to take a selfie with the animal.
They are also dangerous for customers, according to the Guardian, in 2016, at least 75 roadside zoos were selling hands-on interactions with tigers, lions, primates, and bears. “The number of roadside zoos that have tacked on the word ‘sanctuary’ or ‘rescue’ to their names has skyrocketed in recent years,” says PETA.
Whilst many zoos are currently standing strong, as more consumers become concerned about the welfare of animals, others are bowing under pressure. Japanese aquarium Inubasaka Marine Park was forced to close as its ticket sales fell dramatically.