Niabi Zoo celebrates solar eclipse with Nocturnal Day at the Zoo

COAL VALLEY, Ill. (KWQC) – Niabi Zoo invites families to the zoo for solar eclipse viewing and nocturnal animal activities on Monday, Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We have a special opportunity to view a total solar eclipse for the first time in nearly 40 years,” said Joel Vanderbush, curator of conservation and education. “It will be interesting to see how the animals react as day suddenly turns to night.”

The moon is expected to eclipse 91.7 percent of the sun at 1:14 p.m. To safely observe the solar eclipse, activity tables will be set up to make a pin-hole telescope out of cereal boxes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Festival Lawn. Attendees are welcome to bring their own solar eclipse American Astronomical Society-approved viewing glasses.

“There’s no better time to explore the world of nocturnal animals than on a day where we will experience temporary darkness,” said Vanderbush. Niabi volunteers, known as Zoo Naturalists, will have educational activities and artifacts set up on the Festival Lawn so event attendees can discover how the animals of the night navigate, find food and survive.

Cost of the Nocturnal Day activities are included with general zoo admission.