Mayor @Nenshi: “As much as I wanted a photo of a lion in a jail cell — story of the century — that has not happened yet.” 9:52 AM – 21 Jun 2013
So tweeted Calgary’s Mayor Nenshi, Friday morning.
I have to admit I was one of those who laughingly passed on the false news that because of flooding, the lions had been moved to the courthouse holding cells. I am not sure if I misread this, or if it was reported in error. The incredulous imagining of that scene brought smiles; a welcome reprieve from the saturating sadness of brutal, murky waters.
When I was made aware that this menagerie mayhem was false I wondered where to gather accurate information regarding the zoo and its inhabitants. Quite quickly I remembered a very reliable source, someone who has been involved with the zoo since his birth . . . in 2010.
Carter loves the Calgary zoo. His family ensures he visits often, and consequently I asked his Grandma Donna to seek out Carter’s viewpoint on this week’s happenings.
Here is the official news from Carter, who has spent the last few days rescuing animals, with his trucks and other handy vehicles.
photo credit – Donna Poulson
Carter, can you tell us what happened at the zoo this week?
The zoo is under a river because, because it rained so much.
How high was the water?
With arms stretched to the sky he enthusiastically replies,“This high!!!, with a dot in the middle.”
Did the animals stay safe?
Yes, they are safe.
How about the baby animals?
Uhhh ha!! They were safe.
Did you have to help rescue the animals?
Emphatic “YES!! With my rescue helicopter.”
Where did you take the animals?
To the sunshine.
Which animals did you and your rescue helicopter rescue?
A bear and a lion.
Are you going to check up on the animals and make sure they are ok?
Yes. Give them food and water.
Thank you Carter. We notice the bear did incur injuries, but that you have dressed his wounds, and we wish him all the best. Thanks for taking good care of the animals.
Sunday evening Carter’s Grandma posted this information from the zoo:
Today as the water receded, elephants and giraffes were able to be outside enjoying the sun albeit on soggy ground. However, animal care staff sadly confirmed that in spite of their best efforts to corral our free-roaming peacocks on Thursday night, at least one bird has not survived the flood. While trying to round them up, some birds flew up to rooftops and trees and simply couldn’t be corralled. A necropsy will be performed to confirm the bird’s cause of death. As well, Dr. Jake Veasey, director of animal care, conservation and research, who has been at the zoo 24/7 since Thursday, advised that the tilapia in the hippo pool and the piranha in South America have not survived due to the sustained lack of power to the island to maintain water quality and appropriate temperatures for these tropical fish. In spite of the loss of the fish and a peacock, we are still counting our blessings that in the face of this natural disaster there have not been greater losses.