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MIAMI (CBSMiami) –Zoo Miami will remain closed for a second day Tuesday due to high water levels inside the zoo.
Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill said while the water levels are better than Monday, they still haven’t receded enough, therefore, the zoo will remain closed for another day.
The zoo closed earlier than normal on Saturday due to record rainful which flooded walkways as well as many of the moats the zoos uses as barriers between the animals and visitors.
“We had close to 11 inches of rainfall here within a 24-hour period. That rainfall elevated the water table. Since our exhibit is primarily designed in moats, these moats filled up with water and the water level got so high, that animals that are potentially dangerous whether it be big cats, bears, things like that, could swim across the moat and get out on the other side so there is a huge public safety issue there,” said Magill on Monday.
For animals such as antelope and other hoofstock, their normally dry moats now flooded present a different issue.
“On the flip side, we have animals like antelopes, giraffes, animals like that that have normal dry moats. Those moats also filled up with water and these are animals that if they fell in the moats could potentially drown, so it’s a big threat to those animals,” said Magill. “We have safety issues for both animals and people and there was just no way we could keep the zoo open.”
Magill said flooding hasn’t been this bad since Hurricane Wilma 10 years ago.
“I’ve been here 36 years and I have never seen this amount of rain in November and December. Normally we have two inches for the entire month,” said Magill.