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*Smokum*

Barnyard Animals Drown At Lake Superior Zoo

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The donkey and all the goats and sheep drown last night in their enclosure, along with some others. The news forecast was well known earlier that day, national weather service issued flash flood warnings and tornado watches all around the area.

Am I wrong to be angry about this? There are people who are sympathizing with the zoo personnel while I feel they completely neglected their job and should have/ could have prevented this from happening.

My sympathy is with the animals who perished because of irresponsibility of the zoo employees blatant neglect.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47889559/ns/weather/

I live about 45min south of Duluth, which has been devastated by flooding.

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I can't believe that no one decided to get up and out there once they realized the situation. I mean you would think with a history of this type of thing they would have a disaster plan, but even if they didn't, why didn't an employee go "Oh s***, and call everyone they worked with and get out there if they could. I mean even if there was nothing they could do other than let them free with ropes and numbers painted on them it would have been better than letting them drown.

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I completely agree. From what I heard on the news the zookeeper was at home sleeping when he was woken up at 3am because civilians came across one of their seals on Grand Ave in Duluth. You would think perhaps the main zookeeper would make sure his charges were safe and not needing evacuation before going to sleep?

I just feel that of all the animals that are there, the ones that are the easiest to relocate were not. If you look at their Facebook page it's filled with comments from people who are bashing those asking why this was allowed to happen, and why precautions were not taken when there were flash flood warnings HOURS ahead of time.

It baffles me.

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And how may I ask do you feel this could be prevented? I'm not saying you're wrong. But how were they to expect that much flooding? I've been through flash floods before that were nowhere near that catastrophic and I wouldn't have necessarily had the forethought to evacuate the animals first. Hopefully they are able to learn from this and make some changes to avoid this type of thing in the future if possible. But it may not necessarily be realistic to assume that their animals are 100% safe from every natural disaster.

And once the flooding got that severe that it became an issue, do you really want those people out on the roads rushing to the aid of the animals? That is dangerous. I saw some of those sinkholes on the roads in Duluth from the flooding. I certainly wouldn't want people risking their lives going out on those roads to save a couple animals. I value human life and safety above that of animals.

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This happened at hershey park. They knew it was coming and didn't move the animals. Makes me angry.

And where should they move the animals to? How? Should they be moving every species of animal, including the dangerous ones? Will their insurance even allow them to? How would they ensure containment of all the animals moved? Would they have to go through quarantine when they're moved back? Zoos have a lot of animals. In my opinion, it just isn't realistic to be able to move every single animal in case of a natural disaster.

I think it is unfortunate that it happened, but I don't know exactly how much could have realistically been done to prevent it. Again, I am not saying you guys are wrong to be angry. I am just curious as to what more you think they could have done besides just saying move the animals. Do you think they should move them everytime they are in a flash flood watch/warning? Is that even possible?

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I agree with you SD. Completely. Its just not feasible. The flooding was insane! They have had water issues, but NOTHING like what is going on right now.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150884541635264.403369.97919240263&type=3

~stars

Edited by Stars_Morab

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That's the thing, they have had flooding issues before, and yet there seems to not have been an evacuation plan for those animals that would have been relatively easy to move. There were HOURS of warning from the national weather service and various news stations of flash floods, yet, an establishment that is prone to flooding, did nothing to save its animals? The man in charge didn't know anything was wrong until 3am, when people found one of their seals in the street.

I do value human life above animals, but human life would not have been threatened if precautions were taken ahead of time. I wouldn't wait till my basement were flooded armpit high before attempting to save my dogs who sleep down there in a kennel, I would move them to a higher area ahead of time. There was warning, and I feel nothing was done about it. I don't feel like giving sympathy to people who lost their "beloved" animals because of their stupidity and poor emergency planning.

Move those who can be safely moved (the ones who needlessly died last night) and do what you can for the rest that must stay there due to human safety.

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I live in the Twin Cities area, when I went to bed last night at 10:00pm, they were still forecasting that this storm would move south and reach us at 1:00am. It never did. The cold front stopped moving and the storm hovered over Duluth and much of the northern part of the state.

The zoo has been there for 90 years and has never been flooded like this before. The flood occurred at 3am. I'm sure that what limited staff were able to make it to the zoo needed to prioritize which animals to secure first. They have lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!). For the safety of the public, all the "big scary" animals would've been attended to before the much less dangerous farm animals in the petting zoo. The article you linked to even stated that the polar bear had escaped her enclosure. Finding and securing her most likely took priority over everything.

I'm sure that as the staff were deciding their priorities, they knew that the animals that came 10th, 11th, 12th on that list may not make it. I can't imagine the heartbreak a decision like that is. A Sophie's Choice I would never want to make myself.

It's important to remember that a flash flood doesn't take place over hours, it takes place in minutes. Were there warnings beforehand? Sure. But as SD said, where could they bring the animals to keep them safe? Who would've shipped them? Who would've taken them in? Did the benefit of saving the animals outweigh the possible cost of human life in the transport of these animals through a torrential downpour?

I watched a live report about a half hour ago from the zoo. The reporter was standing in front of a raging river. When she pointed behind her she said "The raging water you see behind me is not the river, but is the deer enclosure." My jaw dropped. The death of the animals is definitely a tragedy, but I couldn't blame any zoo staff for it. The zookeeper doing the live report listed many of the animals that died by name. Zookeepers love the animals they care for just as any of us love ours.

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I am just going to Ditto Rob and SD. I live a ways north of duluth. I go to Duluth all the time. I have a most likely to-be sister in-law that attends school at UMD. I have been to the zoo. There was nowhere to bring the animals and I would be much more concerned about the larger animals and securing that polar bear than some goats and a donkey. It is very sad. It is a sad day for everyone in Duluth and Superior. The flooding was devastating, and yes, while Duluth has experienced flooding before, it was NOTHING of this scale. Not even freakin' close people. Virginia and Hibbing, MN were doused as well, and you would be quick to remember water flows downhill. Everything those areas got was rushing right for Duluth and Duluth and Superior got HAMMERED as they are on the bottom of a hill. Their sewage systems were devastated, causing much of the back up. What were they suppose to think/do? Where were they suppose to bring those animals exactly?

What animals were secured and saved is a lucky thing. People WERE doing something but sometimes there are causalities in devastation. People can and are caught unprepared at times. Sometimes there just isn't a plan for things when they happen on such a devastating scale. It IS very sad but there are some things that just happen. We should be happy the other, more dangerous animals weren't loose. Someone always has to be a critic in times of disaster....

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And where should they move the animals to? How? Should they be moving every species of animal, including the dangerous ones? Will their insurance even allow them to? How would they ensure containment of all the animals moved? Would they have to go through quarantine when they're moved back? Zoos have a lot of animals. In my opinion, it just isn't realistic to be able to move every single animal in case of a natural disaster.

I think it is unfortunate that it happened, but I don't know exactly how much could have realistically been done to prevent it. Again, I am not saying you guys are wrong to be angry. I am just curious as to what more you think they could have done besides just saying move the animals. Do you think they should move them everytime they are in a flash flood watch/warning? Is that even possible?

I think in hersheys case, maybe that shouldn't have made an enclosure in an area that is very low and right next to a very large creek. They only lost bison I believe, and there are many bison farms in the area and I'm sure they would have been more then happy to temporary have the zoo bison on their farm. It is a preventable thing, sure it would be difficult to move them, but it would have saved them.

But I hate the hershey zoo to begin with, so maybe I'm being a bit harsh on them.

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I don't know that bison farms would have accepted them. A lot have closed herds due to brucellosis. Even when our national park does bison roundups, they are all quarantined before they can leave to go to bison farms, zoos, tribes, etc.

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Ok I am going to probably piss a number of people off but I don't care. Being a person who grew up about 2-3 miles from the Duluth Zoo can tell you a little bit.

Duluth is a town that is build on a solid rock & ground with red clay. When water comes down the hill there is NO place for it to go but down the hill. Throughout Duluth there are many small dry/water trickle creek beds that come from the top of the hill. The majority of areas that were flooded were those location around/near these creeks.

As for the zoo this was a freak storm & flood water flowed down the creek that runs through the zoo. There is a fence that covers the culvert that creek goes through. Well obviously there is NOTHING you can do about flood waters. At 10pm they did a check of the zoo & all was fine. 3am they get a call that there are problems. Please tell me how the you know & what are the employees to know the park would be flooded? Even if they could get to the park should the people put themselve in harms way for barn animals? The employees have to think about the safety of the public with protecting & the safety of large dangerous animals. If you were not aware the polar bear was loose & had to be tranquilized to return back to the park.

I lived in Duluth for 30yr & never had there ever been a flash flood of this degree. Any flooding that ever happend was always in East Duluth & never at this level. I have only heard of one story of Grand Ave ever being under water.

You want scary then maybe you should look at the picture of the car with a family that went into a sink hole on Skyline Blvd, or the appartment the was washed away. The dam in Carlton that is wide open & the bridge right at the dam that could possibly wash away. What about the boy in Proctor that got swept away in waters traveling 20mph. Luckily the boy is ok.

But no we have to have a bleeding heart over some barn animals & flame at the people who do thier best to care for those animals. Of those who feel the worst about what happend to the animals are those who take care of them every day. That would be the zoo employees.

I am stepping off my box right now.

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RRW- :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:

Instead of biatching about it, united way called me back already. I am an official volunteer, driving 3+ hours to help.

They are barn yard animals. Things that can be "replaced" easily. Lions and Tigers and Polar bears?? A) Dangerous as sin and B ) Expensive to replace.

Sad but true fact. These people did what they could.

The polar bear and the sea lions are being moved to the Como Zoo for safe keeping so they have somewhere to live until things can be repaired.

There has NEVER been a flood of this magnitude or force to occur to this city. 100's of people were left homeless and hungry. For god sakes a woman jumped in after her dog who had lept into the river. She had to be saved and the dog was found later, unharmed. BRIDGES and entire ROADS are collapsing, people are virtually stranded. I have guests struggling to get home because there is almost no way into Wisconsin that is close. Guests who had no idea of the flooding who are backed up in Wisconsin trying to reach MN to go on vacations. This is a very serious thing that is occurring. I feel terrible for the people of the cities who are experiencing a state of emergency. I'm happy to do my part. It's all very very sad and I find it hard to judge when I myself have never encountered anything like this before.

Edited by spanish_walkin_wannabe

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How can anyone expect the animals to be moved when the roads look like this:

401899_10150867268665563_1483282463_n.jpg

Or this:

198420_402534216465380_279908155_n.jpg

Or this:

401955_10102166795067250_291134455_n.jpg

I think the zoo staff who traveled these roads in hopes of saving what they could should be praised, not chided.

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I'm shocked. With all of the devastation Duluth has faced, someone is going to tear them apart for 12 dead animals in a natural disaster? Seriously?

It's very sad, but there are bigger fish to fry.

Edited by Stinger

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285597_10150931116164121_214161421_n.jpg

At least some folks are able to laugh in the face of adversity. This is up by Miller Hill Mall. Basically the TOP of the hill. :blink:

Can't wait to get down there and help clean up! :smilie:

Edited by spanish_walkin_wannabe

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Smokum - I appreciate your sentiment. Even though they are barn animals that are relatively easy to replace, it is very unfortunate, and I'm sure for the animals' keepers, these poor critters are not THAT easy to replace, emotionally. Very sad. Poor critters.

I had my fill of flooding after Katrina, but dare I say, I desperately wish we could move all that water over here to New Mexico. We need it. New Mexico burns year after year, the latest 100+ acre fire about ten miles from my house. And that one is small peanuts compared to "Little Bear" and the really big national forest destroyers.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to recall the LSZ flooding in 2010.

Again, whether they were easily replaceable barn animals or not, I feel precautions were not taken to ensure the animals safety, and as animals locked in enclosures by man, it is mans responsibility to see to their well being... Where was staff during those 5 hours between 10, when everything was fine, and 3, when they became aware of the "problem"? In which time animals could have been moved/evacuated.

It's a horrible tragedy, everything that has happened in Duluth, and I understand this was a freak storm, but it's not like there were not warnings about flash flooding. If there was even the slightest possibility that this would happen, why were precautions not taken? The Polar bear was tranq'd after flood waters were so high it was able to swim out of its enclosure. Yes, at that point, the 'scary' animals take priority.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh, maybe expecting too much? I don't know.

I wish I were able to volunteer, but as the only caretaker of my 8 month old, it is not possible.

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For the amount of storm warning/threats there are in this area??? Nothing would ever get done we would be holed up in a shelter & would never have anything as it woud always be packed up.

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I agree! We've been under some sort of watch, warning or something or other for the past 2 weeks almost daily. Between thunderstorm, tornado, and flood and not all of them pan out to anything.

If they were to move the animals every time there was a warning, it would be ridiculous. There is no way to know if a warning with REALLY pan out to anything at all. We've spent more time in the basement here because of these storms in the past couple weeks than we did all of last year!

~stars

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Thanks, everyone, for posting the pictures and links. I saw more on here than I did on the local Duluth TV stations. I'm in Hibbing, about 80 miles NE of Duluth. We got tons of rain, but no flooding.

I have to agree that it's really a heartache and shame that those animals were lost, but I don't think it could have been completely prevented.

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WRose, my mom said they didn't know anyting of the damage till a family member from the cities called. There wasn't anything on the local news. What they did show was very little.

Glad you didn't get any flooding.

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WR-I didn't realize you lived in Hibbing. We have several relatives up in that area and I'll actually be out that way for a family reunion in July.

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That's the thing, they have had flooding issues before, and yet there seems to not have been an evacuation plan for those animals that would have been relatively easy to move.

I haven't gotten past this. I live in the Twin Cities as well and like many others, have friends and family that live up there. The last time there was severe flooding in Duluth was in 1972. And it wasn't this bad.

I'm not sure how they could have prevented the death of these poor animals. Especially when the culvert broke and that's why the zoo flooded. And a bigger priority was securing a roaming polar bear before it found it's way out of the zoo grounds and threatened human life.

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Isn't the whole town of Duluth on a side-hill of Lake Superior? Even if I DID live there, the parts that I have driven through, hardly seem like a flood would even BE an issue... so I guess I would have to say that if I had been an employee of that zoo, I wouldn't have even had the thought cross my mind that it would flood enough to drown critters.

(But then, I've been out of state for 2 weeks, I missed all the rain. Hubby & Offspring are home today attempting to tame ther jungle that once was my yard!!!) :unsure:

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