How will the solar eclipse affect wildlife and pets at home?

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — With the eclipse less than a week away, many are worried about their own safety as well as the safety of pets and wildlife.

According to Michelle Kelly, Naturalist at the Oatland Island Wildlife Center, “I think it’s going to be an enrichment for our animals. Most wild animals will respond slightly differently than our animals. Our animals are used to changes in their lives all the time. That’s how we keep in interesting.”

This change is one that many of the animals are going to experience for the first time. The question remains as to how they will react.

“The duration for the bigger animals is such a short period of time it probably won’t be that much of an alarm. Probably the biggest shocker is going to be for our songbirds,” says Kelly.

The songbirds are usually awake during the day and asleep at night. However, with the eclipse lasting three hours from stage C1 TO C4- they may be a little confused and remain more quiet than normal.

With the total eclipse lasting only two minutes, the animals’ behavior is not expected to change much. But some animals may process the eclipse differently than nocturnal and crepuscular animals.

“Deer are crepuscular; they come out a dawn and dusk, so they might think it’s time to bed down and sleep so they may bed down. Same with the fox — the fox is nocturnal as well.” Kelly said.

There will also be a slight change in temperature during the solar eclipse. It may get 5 to 10 degrees cooler, but the Wildlife Center says there is no need to bring animals inside.

As for pets at home, they shouldn’t behave any differently than normal.

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