Philadelphia Zoo visitors observe animals during eclipse as part of citizen science project

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By journalsofus.com


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Although clouds blocked the eclipseThere was still plenty for visitors to see in the Philadelphia Zoo on Monday.

Instead of just looking at the sky, families also kept an eye on the animals during the day. rare celestial event.

“It’s interesting to see how this affects everyone.” Dawn Polansky said. “Everyone seems really excited and, I don’t know, a little more friendly because we all shared this experience.”

It is an experience that Francesca Carendi wanted to share with her family after visiting the zoo during the last eclipse in 2017.

“I remembered that you should be here to watch the animals and see how they react during the process,” Carendi said. “This time I came prepared with real sun glasses.”

They are just a few of the many people across the country participating in a large citizen science project that the Philadelphia Zoo is a part of, called solar eclipse safari.

The project is facilitated by a company called ScienceStarter.

“We are asking our guests who are at the zoo today to help us observe our animals,” said Dani Hogan, director of mission integration at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Visitors checked in with zoo staff, chose which animal to observe and used their phones to track their behavior before, during and after the eclipse.

Since the event does not occur frequently, there is not much information about animal behavior during an eclipse.

Once all the data is collected, the company will analyze it.

“We’ve been doing it as an observation as we walk past the animals and also asking the zookeepers: Have you noticed anything different?” Polansky said.

Although most people were very excited by the rare moment, most of the animals seemed quite unfazed by the event.

“We’re not on the path to full totality, so we’re pretty confident that our animals will be totally fine,” Hogan said. “It may seem like a passing cloud at best.”

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