A cheer went up when Mayor Naheed Nenshi ripped through the banner that read: "Welcome Back. We're Open," to officially invite everyone back to the zoo.
"Make no mistake. It was devastation to one of the most special places in our city," said Nenshi. "The mud, the silt, the broken buildings and the broken hearts were evident all over this island."
The zoo, build on an island, was forced to move 160 animals to higher ground. 2 hippos nearly escaped when water levels rose to the top of their enclosure, swimming in the public viewing area and almost out to the river. Giraffes that were standing up to their bellies in cold water were ailing after the flood for days and could only be gotten to by boat - but they recovered. Two peacocks, a pot-bellied pig and a variety of fish died.
The floods cost the zoo $50M, with ruined kitchen and dining areas, and hundreds of metres of fencing down, plus the cost of missing revenue for 5 months estimated at $11M. The zoo is also looking into a berm to protect the zoo from this happening again, the cost of this, is $10M.
There is still so much work to be done.
“Five months ago the zoo was very different,” said president and CEO Dr. Clement Lanthier.
“It’s reconnecting with the community and this is what zoos are all about — zoos are about animals and conservation but also about people,” he said.
Help rebuild the Calgary Zoo by visiting the zoo and the animals. Your admission goes towards rebuilding devastation and securing a home for the animals. The zoo is one of many reasons to visit Calgary!
If you live in Calgary please buy or renew your annual pass. You won't regret a year's fun times with the animals to share with friends and family! There are so many benefits of membership, including unlimited trips, free parking, member-only events, discounted gift store purchases and more! Makes a great gift too don't you think?!
For the rest of us, donations are greatly appreciated! You can do so here.
"Be kind to one another." - Ellen.