You know what the only thing worse than sheltering and caring for hundreds of animals, many of them potentially dangerous, during a hurricane is? Trying to do so while fighting back rumors that said animals have escaped and are on the lam, devouring children as they rampage through the town. Such a practical joke was played on the Central Park Zoo in an 1874 incident. Social media has just made such rumors easier to spread quickly.
St. Augustine Alligator Farm was the subject of rumors that its alligators and crocodiles had swum their way to freedom and were loose in the streets. Thankfully the sheriff's office was quick to reassure the public that everything was okay. I don't know if the story was spread deliberately or if someone happened to see an alligator (in Florida, no less) and drew their own conclusion. Either way, I'm glad it settled quietly. The last thing anyone needed during the hurricane was a panicky public going gator hunting.
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