I work at an after-school program with kids who WILL NOT let this story rest. It's a true one.

When I was about twelve I went with my family to Wisconsin to visit my relatives. We decided to go to the city to see a movie and have lunch and go to the zoo. We had the movie picked out and we also had the theater picked out - we knew exactly where we were going to go first.
This is important later in the story.

So we got to the city and it looked like it was going to rain so we changed our plans. We went to the zoo first instead.
So we got to the zoo and we walked around and looked at everything and then all of a sudden the breeze just stopped, it was like the air was holding still, and the sky turned orange and brown and the sirens went off and the intercom said EVERYBODY HAS TO GO IN A BUILDING, THERE'S A TORNADO.

So we all ran to the nearest building which was the bird house. But there were about a hundred people trying to get into the bird house, and it was small and we knew we wouldn't all be able to fit inside.
But the basement was way bigger than the actual building - like three times as wide - that's where they kept the vet labs and food storage and things.
So we all smooshed in there together and then the lights went out and my little brother started crying and all the kids were crying and then the generator made a little light come on but it was still awful.
And I could hear the zookeepers talking:

"Ok we have to bring this one in, but it can't come in here because it will eat that one. Well it can just stay in its shelter outside, it's concrete, it'll hold. Animals know what to do. Yeah well we can't exactly bring it in here because it will eat some toddler."

They finally got it figured out where all the animals were going to go, and I was sitting on a big pile of feed bags, with my left hand on a baby giraffe and my right hand on a capybara.

Snip long explanation of what a capybara is. No it is not gross. Well yes it is a rodent but they're make these little whuffling noises against your leg - they're very gentle - fine, yes ok, you're right they're gross.

So then the tornado went away and we could go back outside.
The tornado had been really close, but the zoo was ok - there were leaves and stuff all over the ground but nothing much was broken.
So we went home. And that night on the news, it was showing all the things that got wrecked, because the tornado went right through a big city, and it showed this one theater... remember how I told you we had picked out a theater to go to? Well the tornado took all the cars that were in the theater parking lot and threw them across the road.
And it ripped the roof off the building and threw it across the road too.
And everybody who was in the building was squashed flat. The end!

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