The Zoo’s plan to keep 4th of July fireworks from scaring the animals

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - Forest Park will be filled with Fair St. Louis Festival Goers in just a few weeks. Due to arch construction, this year's celebration is near the Central West End.  But, what about the home where the big cats roam and the deer and the antelope play?

"Antelopes can be a little jumpy but the keepers know which species are more sensitive than others and that might be a situation where we actually bring the animals in for the evening."  said Michael Macek.

The night's sky above the grand basin will be filled with fireworks the 3rd, 4th and 5th of July. Its safe to say an event that calls itself america's biggest birthday party coupled with this city's 250th anniversary would want to do it up right,  with a lot of fireworks. But, Mother Nature makes her own and surely the 19,000 animal residents who call the Zoo home have heard those before.

"So the reason I know there are fireworks in the park is that the park always notifys us.  Whether it's a wedding or graduation or whatever even they always notify us prior so that we know what to expect." said Michael Macek.

The urban animals at the zoo can already hear noise from neighboring highway 40 or helicopters and sirens from hospital row along Kingshighway.  But when a storm is threatening, or fireworks imminent, the Zoo opens inclosed areas so antelopes and gazelles can get their shelter.

"So they're used to sounds, they're used to voices whether it's music, people talking, talk radio or whatever." said curator of birds Michael Macek.

That way the lion sleeps tonight, even if things go bump, boom and crash in the skies above.