When it comes to keeping the wild animals of Florida safe from Hurricane Irma, zoos, sanctuaries and rescues get creative.
For one animal welfare non-profit in Key West, Florida, this meant sending its critters into the clink.
According to ABC News, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm, an animal rescue that takes in local abandoned, confiscated, abused and donated creatures of all kinds, decided to relocate its residents to the nearby Stock Island Detention Center to ride out the storm in safety.
The animals, which include a sloth, ponies, llamas, snakes, alligators and more, are no strangers to a life behind bars. Many of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm inhabitants are involved in a program that teaches inmates how to care for animals, in hopes they will carry these lessons with them once they are released from jail.
For this visit, many of the rescue’s 250 animals were carefully transported to the county jail and moved into the facility’s holding cells. These cinder block rooms were available to the critters because the inmates who occupied them before had been moved to a facility in Palm Beach.
The rescue’s staff made the cells of the jail a little more inviting to their new occupants by adding food, bedding and plenty of water.
It is unclear when the animals will make the move back to their Key West home, but they are safe and happily under lock and key until then.