A sea lion swam outside its enclosure at a New York zoo on Friday as heavy rain flooded her pool. She explored the area outside before returning to its pool to the company of other sea lions, authorities said.
It did not escape the zoo and such claims are misleading, clarified the police and zoo authorities.
The Central Park Zoo reported the incident on a day a flash flood partially crippled the city’s subway network, airports and traffic movements.
“The water levels have receded, and the animals are contained in their exhibit,” said a statement by Jim Breheny, executive vice president of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)’s Zoos and Aquarium.
No staff or visitors were in danger and the sea lion remained inside the zoo, never breaching the zoo’s secondary perimeter, it said, adding that the WCS shut its four zoos and aquariums to focus on the animals during the storm.
The New York Police Department warned about “inaccurate” claims that animals had escaped the zoo amid flooding.
🚨 ZOO UPDATE:
There are several videos circulating online about flooding & escaped zoo animals. These videos are misleading & inaccurate.
— NYPD Central Park (@NYPDCentralPark) September 29, 2023
“There are several videos circulating online about flooding and escaped zoo animals. These videos are misleading and inaccurate. All sea lions and animals are accounted for and safe at the Central Park Zoo. The zoo remains closed due to the heavy rain and flooding,” it said on X (formerly Twitter).