Upcoming Events

Great American Solar Eclipse: Animal Observation Experience

08/21/2017, Noon to 3:00 PM

Nashville Zoo map


Do animals behave differently when experiencing a total solar eclipse?

That’s what Nashville Zoo intends to find out Aug. 21, 2017 when much of Middle Tennessee will witness an event that last took place in this area more than 150 years ago. To accomplish this, Zoo officials are asking guests to observe and record while experiencing the event.

  • The first 5,000 guests at the Zoo on this day will receive FREE solar eclipse glasses!
  • For Nashville, the solar eclipse will begin at roughly noon on Aug. 21, 2017 and reach totality about an hour and half later. Totality (when the moon is completely covering the sun) will last about 1.5 minutes before the sun begins to shine again.
  • During this time, Nashville Zoo guests will be encouraged to record animal behaviors through various means including photos, video and written observation. See below for details.
  • The Animal Show: Destination Conservation will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Aug. 21.

The event is included with Zoo admission. You do not need to purchase tickets in advance. However, we are expecting larger than normal crowds on Aug. 21 so we encourage everyone to arrive early.

Observing Our Animals:

We encourage you to download an app called iNaturalist (https://www.inaturalist.org/). Once installed, please take the following steps:

1. Tap the More tab at the bottom and select Projects
2. Select the Nearby tab at the top or search "Nashville Zoo"
3. Select "Nashville Zoo Solar Eclipse 2017" (available August 18)
4. Select "Join"

Familiarize yourself with the app. When making observations at the Zoo, be sure to add the Zoo's event under the projects bar before sharing. If you’d rather not use the app, please share your observations on your social media and tag us, add us as a location or add #nashvillezoo or #nzooeclipse. You can also email your observations to pr@nashvillezoo.org.

Learn more about animal observations at our blog post.