Thanks to the District’s excessive use of social media, we’ve pretty much heard how every person here (or the entire East Coast) reacted to the earthquake yesterday. Thanks to the National Zoo, we now know how the animals in captivity weathered the 30 seconds of terror.

The Zoo staff released a list of some of the animal responses as the ground started rumbling. The apes had some warning and didn’t mess around:

  • About five to ten seconds before the quake, many of the apes, including Kyle (an orangutan) and Kojo (a western lowland gorilla), abandoned their food and climbed to the top of the tree-like structure in the exhibit.
  • About three seconds before the quake, Mandara (a gorilla) let out a shriek and collected her baby, Kibibi, and moved to the top of the tree structure as well.
  • Iris (an orangutan) began “belch vocalizing”—an unhappy/upset noise normally reserved for extreme irritation—before the quake and continued this vocalization following the quake.

Beavers took to the water:

  • The beavers stopped eating, stood on their hind legs and looked around, then got into the water, too. They all stayed in the water. Within an hour, some of the beavers returned to land to continue eating.

Pandas? As if we should even be surprised, they don’t give a damn:

  • According to keepers, the giant pandas did not appear to respond to the earthquake.

Read the full list of Zoo reaction here.

Illustration by Brooke Hatfield