Calgary Zoo update: All animals safe but zoo to remain closed for 2 weeks
Published Saturday, June 22, 2013 5:25PM EDT
A spokesperson for the Calgary Zoo reports that all animals are safe and “as many animals as possible” were moved to higher ground within the grounds during Thursday and Friday’s flooding.
The zoo will remain closed for the next two weeks after high waters from the Bow River flooded St. George’s Island, where most of the zoo sits.
“We have an excellent animal care team that have been working very diligently since Thursday,” Calgary Zoo spokesperson Trish Exton-Parder told CTV News Channel.
“We don’t have any animal injuries to report at this time and we only had to move two beavers and a couple of pot-bellied pigs off island.”
There was some concern by staff about animals standing in water, but those animals have been moved.
An animal health centre that sits on higher ground near the north entrance of the zoo is currently treating some frightened species with around-the-clock care.
“Today [Saturday] we have some good news: our elephants have been able to go outside as well as coaxing our giraffes at the moment to go into the yard area as well,” Exton-Parder said.
On Friday, Calgary Zoo CEO Dr. Clement Lanthier, surveyed the island in a kayak on Friday.
“It was a surreal experience, one I thought I’d never have and hope never to repeat,” Lanthier said in an update to staff and volunteers.
Lanthier said he personally checked in on the camels, hippos, giraffes, elephants and gorillas.
“Despite the many media reports, our big cats have not moved to the courthouse,” Lanthier said, putting an end to earlier speculation that jail cells could house the large cats.
The Calgary Zoo is currently developing a plan to begin restoration and resume operations.