ST. AUGUSTINE, Florida - As Irma barrels toward the Florida coast, one alligator farm is taking extra precautions to make sure its residents stay put.
Keepers at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm began their preparations for Hurricane Irma by draining some of the water out of the enclosure where more than 200 alligators and crocodiles live. That way, the gators won't be able to swim out of the enclosure if the water rises.
"As they feel the low pressure come in, they all submerge to the bottom and they wait," John Brueggen with the farm told WJXX-TV. "Everywhere in the park is a minimum of two fences and in some places, there's three."
Venomous snakes that reside in the facility are secured in pillow cases and then locked in boxes that have air holes, which Brueggen said calms the animals down and keeps them safe.
It takes less than five hours to secure all of the birds and monkeys on the property, which are then secured within indoor kennels.
The larger birds, however, take refuge in the farm's public restrooms.
"It worked beautifully last year," Brueggen said. "The bathrooms a great place. Easy to clean. We can bleach it from one end to the other."
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