Polar Bear, Seals Flee Flooding for Como Zoo
The polar bear and seals that escaped their exhibits at the flooded Lake Superior Zoo have been moved to a St. Paul zoo.
Animal care experts say the move to Como Park Zoo is in the best interest of the animals while zookeepers in Duluth deal with flood issues.
Four Como zookeepers drove to Duluth late Wednesday to retrieve the two harbor seals and polar bear.
About a dozen animals in the barnyard exhibit died when flood waters the engulfed the zoo early Wednesday.
After Feisty the seal was found on a city street, zoo employees were called in and began searching for animals in the dark.
Berlin the polar bear was found on a rock wall that encloses her exhibit. Another escaped seal was found on a walking path.
"We can't put any of these animals back until we determine the structural soundness of this building, and we need to not only make sure it is safe for Berlin and the harbor seals, but for the public too," said Peter Pruett, Director of Animal Management at the Lake Superior Zoo.
The lions and brown bears have been moved into quarantine for safety while zoo staff assess the structural stability of their exhibits.
"The unknown is always the scary thing," said Lake Superior Zoo CEO Sam Maida. "Right now we don't know what's going to happen with just about anything. We're assessing what's going on, what's happened."
Zoo staff is working on cleaning the grounds after the floods ripped through much of the property. They hope to have a grief counselor available in the coming days.
"The animals here are our peers and coworkers," Pruett said. "When we lose one, we lose a coworker, we lose a friend."
If you want to help, the zoo is looking for cleaning supplies like gloves, rakes and shovels. You can also make a financial donation by clicking here.
Click here to see video of the animals settling in at the Como Zoo.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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