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Last Updated on September 30, 2023 by Fumipets
Sea Lion’s Daring Escape During NYC Flooding at Central Park Zoo
New York City, NY — In a remarkable display of resilience and adaptability, a sea lion at the Central Park Zoo seized the opportunity to make a splashy escape during the recent heavy flooding that inundated the Big Apple.
This daring marine mammal’s escapade unfolded against the backdrop of torrential rains and rising floodwaters in the city. While Mayor Eric Adams urged residents to stay indoors, this adventurous sea lion had other plans.
A Bold Break for Freedom
As the plaza surrounding the Central Park Zoo pool transformed into a temporary aquatic playground, this intrepid sea lion took the plunge, venturing beyond the confines of its enclosure. The floodwaters became an unlikely accomplice in its great escape, creating a unique opportunity to explore the outer world.
The Wildlife Conservation Society, custodians of the Central Park Zoo, reported that the sea lion boldly navigated the new terrain before ultimately returning to the familiar comforts of its pool, rejoining the company of two fellow sea lions.
Jim Breheny, Director of the Bronx Zoo and Executive Vice President of the WSZ’s Zoos and Aquarium, commended the quick response of zoo staff. “Zoo staff monitored the sea lion as she explored the area before returning to the familiar surroundings of the pool and the company of the other two sea lions,” he remarked.
A Watery Adventure
Thankfully, neither the zoo’s staff nor its visitors were ever in harm’s way during this aquatic adventure. The Bronx Zoo had proactively closed all four of its zoos and one aquarium in anticipation of the storm. This precaution allowed the dedicated staff to provide essential care to the animals and safeguard the facilities throughout the storm’s duration.
Breheny reassured the public, saying, “Animal care staff will continue to monitor the situation through the duration of the weather event,” ensuring the sea lions and other zoo inhabitants remained safe and well-cared for.
Misleading Reports Debunked
Amidst the chaos of the flooding, several misleading and inaccurate videos surfaced online, falsely suggesting that more zoo animals had escaped due to the rising waters. However, the New York Police Department’s Central Park precinct swiftly dispelled these rumors, confirming that all sea lions and other animals at the Central Park Zoo were accounted for and secure.
City in Crisis
The severe weather that gripped New York City overwhelmed its roads and transit systems, prompting Governor Kathy Hochul to declare a state of emergency. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning covering all of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and even parts of New Jersey, emphasizing the perilous conditions.
Mayor Adams underscored the urgency of the situation, stating during a news conference, “This is a time for heightened alertness and extreme caution. If you are at home, stay home. If you are at work or school, shelter in place for now.”
A History of Escapes
Interestingly, this wasn’t the first time an animal attempted a great escape from the Central Park Zoo. In 2011, a venomous Egyptian cobra made headlines when it managed to slip away, leading to a six-day search that riveted the city. The elusive serpent was eventually found “coiled, sort of secluded in a dark corner” near the enclosure from which it had vanished. A Reptile House employee safely recovered the reptilian with “special tongs,” according to Breheny.
This latest aquatic escapade by the sea lion adds another chapter to the zoo’s history of thrilling animal adventures.