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Animals have mixed reaction

SOME animals at Shanghai Zoo were startled yesterday morning by the total solar eclipse, while others remained indifferent.

Swans and flamingoes got in a flap when the sun "disappeared" at 9:36am and soon after a South China tiger roared.

Monkeys were particularly sensitive to the sudden change in weather.

Many rushed to their caves shrieking as it darkened. One even fell from the swing in the dark.

Yao Jianzhuang, director of primate feeding at the zoo, said the sudden darkness confused the monkeys, but they were back in their play area by about 9:45am as light returned.

Visitors came to the zoo especially to observe animals during the eclipse.

"It's a lifetime opportunity to study the behavioral patterns of animals, for none of us will be alive during the next total solar eclipse," said Wang Zhen, a 67-year-old visitor.

At Shanghai Wildlife Park, tigers and lions cared little about the eclipse and behaved normally. Elephants, rhinos, bears and deer also remained calm.

Golden monkeys, however, became aggressive as darkness fell and did not settle down until they saw the light again.


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