Under Our Care: A Flooded Zoo in Texas

This is what the Texas Zoo, located in Victoria, Texas, about 70 miles north of Rockport, usually looks like:

Per Victoria’s Wikipedia page, the zoo houses about 200 animals in a natural setting.

It’s probably a good place to bring the kids on a a muggy southeast Texas summer day, since it’s built on an island in the Guadalupe River and therefore fairly cool.

But there are some drawbacks to such a location.

Here is what the Texas Zoo looked like this morning, September 2 – about an hour ago:

In case that walkthrough video on the zoo’s Facebook page didn’t embed correctly in this WordPress post (did my best, but I’m a newbie!), rain from Hurricane Harvey flooded the Guadalupe River, which then covered the Texas Zoo to a depth of almost five feet.

Four Texas Zoo employees rode out the storm and the flooding with the animals (Aldaco), including Mr. Cash, the tall black guy in both videos above.

Most of the smaller animals, including an ocelot, were evacuated on August 31st (Aldaco); other zoos are keeping those critters until they can safely be returned.

The big cats and some bear cubs had to stay, but zoo personnel moved them to night cages, which are higher. (Aldaco) The flood water did not reach them.

Those people came through okay.  The only reported casualties thus far are some hogs and a few small animals. (Aldaco)

SeaWorld and other area zoos have sent in trained animal handlers and other aid, and reconstruction teams are on the way. A GoFundMe page is also up. (Aldaco; CBSDFW, Uhler)

Employees also stayed with the animals at the Houston Zoo, including the CEO, who blogged on August 29 that the Houston Zoo was “an island of relative normalcy in an ocean of crisis.”

It reopened yesterday, September 1st, with a $5 admission special.

The Texas Zoo reopening will take a little longer.


Featured image: Screenshot from the “before” video above.

Aldaco, A. “Texas Zoo evacuates animals (w/video).” Victoria Advocate, August 31, 2017, 10:30 p.m. https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2017/aug/31/texas-zoo-evacuates-animals/ Last accessed September 1, 2017.

CBSDFW.com. “Fort Worth zoo employees head out to rescue Victoria zoo workers.” August 31, 2017, 7:54 a.m. http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2017/08/31/fort-worth-zoo-employees-head-out-to-rescue-victoria-zoo-workers/ Last accessed September 2, 2017.

Uhler, T. “Fort Worth Zoo sends boats, TVs, staffers to hurricane zone.” Star Telegram, August 31, 2017, 11:59 a.m.
http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article170460227.html Last accessed September 1, 2017.

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