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tregembo300.jpg Submitted by WWAY on Thu, 09/04/2008 - 3:30pm.

Preparing for a major storm may involve stocking up on the essentials like food and water. One local business has to gather food to feed more than 400 hundred mouths at the Tregembo Zoo. No one watches an approaching storm more than Sherry Tregembo, because she not only has to worry about her safety, but the safety of two lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, giraffe and a camel amongst other animals. The Tregembo Zoo in Wilmington opened its doors in 1952 and in the past 56 years the animals have weathered their fair share of storms. Sherry Tregembo said, "when my grandparents first moved down here, it wasn't too long before they had Hurricane Hazel to contend with. Then we had several storms through the 80s and then in the 90s of course we had Fran and Floyd that caused a lot of destruction." Preparation for a storm starts with stocking up on a few hundred pounds of meat, fruit, and feed for 90 different species of animals, and double-checking locks and cages for safety. When it comes to a maintaining a zoo, there is no such thing as evacuating. The zoo staff and animals have to ride it out. Tregembo states, "it's too dangerous to try to move them, most animals they want to see what's going on so we try to let them just stay under there shelters. We walk through the zoo during the hurricanes anyway to make sure everything is ok." Sherry said for a tropical storm or category one hurricane, they mostly focus on the feathered creatures, which will be placed in indoor cages. If a major hurricane were to make landfall, you wouldn't have to worry about a lion or bear ending up in your backyard because those animals are placed in concrete, steel reinforced cages. Sherry says the zoo would mostly look for help from the community after a storm. If anyone would like to volunteer for clean up efforts after the storm, call the Tregembo animal park at 910-392-3604.

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