by Duluth News Tribune
June 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm in Duluth News Tribune
The animals never had a chance.
Tags: animals, Duluth, weather 51 Comments »
Dreadful tragedy for the barnyard animals – but on bright side, triumphant for the seals and polar bear. Hope Berlin will be ok.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 49 5
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Just like anyother animal a person has, you are responsible for there well being. The zoo has flooded before and question why steps were not taken to get the non dangerous animals out of harms way. To me the Zoological Society failed in its responsibility.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 51 77
No…the zoo did not fail. The zoo flooded a few years ago. The railroad embankment acts as a dam in high water. They had a culvert that became blocked and the zoo was heavily damaged. The railroad put in a bigger culvert but look what happened yesterday. They took the cheapest and quickest route to fix the problem . And look what we have today. Make them fix it right this time! If you look at flood damage from yesterday you will see a 50 foot swath of the rail embankment gone. The rails are just hanging there. The railroad needs to put something back at least as big as the opening made by the flood waters. Probably more like a bridge than a culvert. I am sure they want to go with the quick and easy fix to get the line open. If they do….it will just happen again. The zoo is important to our city! Force the railroad to fix it right this time!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 89 13
Yes, the zoo staff failed miserably. There were flood watches & warnings out well before any flooding damage occurred. If I was in charge of the safety of those animals, I would have made provisions to have them transported and kept in a safe location well in advance of the actual storm. It’s a no brainer. Someone was negligent and they should be held responsible (terminated).
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 49 79
Instead of bashing the zoo staff we should be supporting them. Yes, we had watches and warnings. Did anyone expect to wake up yesterday and see the kind of destruction we had? 9 inches of rain ?? Anyone can play monday morning quarterback.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 82 29
Yes, John. I did expect to wake up and find destruction because local media outlets (tv/paper/radio) were reporting on it ALL NIGHT. Again, the zoo staff had a responsibility to take care of those penned up defenseless animals…no matter what the circumstances and THEY FAILED TO DO SO. I wouldn’t have left my dog penned up outside in that weather…would you? The Duluth Zoo staff doesn’t need sympathy…they need to be fired and replaced by competent workers. Stop making excuses for a tragedy that could have been avoided.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 49 73
They did what they could under really aweful conditions. Yes, the animals have value. We are all sad for the loss of animal life. I’m not sure I would send zoo staff out in the middle of the night in flood conditions. If you were listening to the media like you claim…they were not advising people to travel. You would be risking your life just getting to the zoo in those conditions. And you want to have zoo staff running around in the dark in a raging flood? As it turned out…they did so anyway..the staff did an amazing job in finding the polar bear. They had to prioritize and had to make some unfortunate choices. We are fortunate that we had no loss of human life in Duluth.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 73 21
so we lock up some animals in cages for eating in disgusting conditions yet they choose to go after a zoo that got flooded? PETA is a joke….like many posters have mentioned not one human life should be risked to save an animal (granted people still will risk theirs for specific animals) PETA has good intentions but is horrible in implementation of said intentions. They choose cases like this that they have no leg to stand on and that makes people like me unsympathetic to their original cause. If they had any sense they would argue zoos in of themselves are cruel (not that i think so per se)but no they only get mad when a few animals die in a flood??? By their own arguement any person who lost a pet or god forbid if they lost their child due to the flood are neglegent because they had proper warnings issued beforehand therefore they shouldve done something? wow peta wow dang nabbit now im all cwabby peta thanks…lol
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 11
Does anybody know how to send out the word across the country about getting financial help for the zoo? Maybe the Hollywood wealthy people and Warren Buffet/Steve Gates could open their hearts and wallets and donate to repair and rebuild the zoo ASAP. Spread the word, someone must know someone who knows someone.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 52 15
is bill gates going to visit are zoo>>?? i doubt it so why would he pay for it (doesnt benefit him or any of his pledged causes) on the other hand maybe the wealthy people of our own city that benefits from the zoo could pitch in as well as the rest of the taxpayers… like if we put a priority on our outdated sewage system but oo wait i forgot public amenities require tax revenues.
Like or Dislike: 12 2
I want to focus on a proactive solution. We are all sad and shocked about the loss of animals due to drowning. Please think of becoming a volunteer, donate some money to the dedicated fund for flood repair or restore the gardens at the zoo. They are celebrating 90 years and wish that they can make it to the 100 year celebration. Am I angry of course. But it will all be sorted out in the end and by being involved we can prevent a quick fix with the culvert, disaster readiness and emergecy staffing.
I would hope that the Board of Directors, Director of LSZ and others will issue a statement when they are ready to address those concerns. Right now they are still flooded, reeling with grief and trying to just make a list of priorities. No bashing is needed because it will not bring those poor animals back.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 67 7
I’m not sure we can really blame anyone since this was kind of an unprecidented event with 8″ of rain in 24 hours etc…
However, that being said, it’s a terribly sad event. When I first read of this yesterday I just felt so bad for those frightened animals as they were swept away in water over their heads. I can’t imagine the terrror of being penned in a cage with no ability to escape to higher ground as the moving water is rising around you.
It’s certainly wonderful that aparantly no humans died or were even injured during this event, but none the less, these animal deaths deserve our sorrow since they too are sentient beings.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 60 6
I can imagine that yes the empolyees & management feel imense pain re; the flooding & deaths of animals being peened up during a flood that was totaly unexpected, but I also imagine the imense pain of those animals as they took there last breath, wondering where the caretakers were at this time?
If the management didn’t have a flooding control evacuation plan or disater plan to implement the Zoo should close, forget your looking for big donors, just do the right thing from the get go.
Hot debate. What do you think? 40 47
Exactly James. There are no excuses for the Zoo’s complete mishandling of this. None.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 28 58
Bottom line, the zoo, the people in charge to care for these animals, failed them miserably. They trusted humans, and no one could go above and beyond their work hours and check on them. By night, it was obvious we were in the midst of a bad storm and that isn’t hindsight, that’s just reality; there were warnings out, flood warnings, etc., and nobody that worked there had the FORESIGHT or thought to organize and check on them. Given where that exhibit is situated with that creek nearby, any reasonable person would have thought, given how much rained poured down consistently throughout the day, that it was something to be watched. Inexcusable and sad.
Hot debate. What do you think? 37 44
You make it sound like the zoo staff didn’t want to do anything because it was after hours. Or that they would rather stay at home and worry about things in the morning. Let’s see…. So the zoo staff makes its way to the zoo in the middle of the night during a massive flood. Now it’s pitch black out and raining like crazy. And they have a polar bear roaming around in the darkness. But they don’t know where. Not a situation that sounds remotely enjoyable. Let me remind you…. the polar bear is the world’s largest land carnivore. Why do you think the seals ended up on Grand Ave.? They didn’t want to become part of the bears diet! I guess the seals knew enough to get the heck out of there! Are you kidding me?? I wouldn’t have gone near the zoo without a massive amount of firepower. Can you imaging walking around in the middle of the night looking for a polar bear??? A bear that was probably scared and confused? And yet the staff was able to locate the bear and get the situation under control. We haven’t had this amount of rain in Duluth since 1909. I know it’s sad they lost some animals. But seriously?? I think the staff at the zoo went above and beyond under the worst of conditions.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 56 20
So some of the animals died. Better them than people.
But some of the posts I’ve seen seem to think the people could have or should have done more.
If these posters were so damn worried about the zoo animals, just why weren’t THEY out there? Most claim that they know the history of flooding at the zoo, yet not one of them were out there helping, were they?
Talk about your ‘armchair quarterbacks’. Sitting at home feeding their faces, and when the story breaks, and they’ve done nada, now they complain?
Give me a break.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 48 24
To me it seems like most people don’t really have an understanding of what exactly happened and how it happened.
The last time the zoo ‘flooded,’ only a few years ago, there was no real danger to the animals and predications for flash flooding were really no different than what they were this time around.
Fast forward to Tuesday night & Wednesday morning. We receive more rain than was anticipated and the Zoo wasn’t flooding drastically. Then the kingsbury creek culvert become clogged and the creek started backfilling behind the rail embankment. Eventually that rail embankment gave way flooding the zoo in a very very quick period of time… It would have been extremely dangerous for a human to try to test those waters and get to the animals…
Yes, it is AWFUL that those animals died. But the Zoo staff is simply not at fault for what happens to be a freak accident during a freak storm that none of us will likely ever experience in Duluth again.
The staff is without doubt feeling horrible about not having been able to do anything. Their guilt is more than they should be suffering and we have no reason to be piling more on them.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 56 14
Excellent post btw and spot on, but will probably fall on deaf ears of those that seem so capable of predicting what would have happened after the fact and proclaim they could have done better in pitch black during a unprecendented flash flood and raging waters dealing with large predators. Ya’ know if they saved the donkey and birds but let the polar bear go and maybe another large predator the same folks would be hollering that they didn’t have their priorities straight and should have done…well, exactly what they did do…
“Too often we… enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” ….John F. Kennedy
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 28 12
I don’t understand why they didn’t just open the cages and let them go free? They’re native birds!
Hot debate. What do you think? 23 12
They? There was one security guard on duty. How much knowledge of animals do you think he has? Should he have risked his life?
It was night time not broad day light. With the torrential rain how did you expect the zoo workers to get to the zoo to prevent this tragedy?
Now is the time to support the zoo and the workers. They cared for these animals. Volunteer some of your time or get out your check book.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 35 11
If there was only one security guard at the entire zoo then that really was negligence. Seems like inappropriate staffing to me.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 14 31
How much of a budget does the city provide them with? Funds are supposedly tight in Duluth. It’s a shame this happened but the workers at the zoo aren’t to blame for this. Just take a minute to think about what these people are going through right now. Some of them may have damage at home as well as at work. There was plenty of blame passed around in EGF after the flood but you can’t predict exactly what is going to happen. Yes the outcome is devastating but it wasn’t anyones fault.
Like or Dislike: 19 7
Now we have some id*ots from PETA jumping into this. They want the city to press charges against to zoo management. Like the city doesn’t have enough on its hands already? PETA does do some great work. But here is a classic example of a total breakdown in common sense. Not that some of the postings above are lacking any. Like ….well why didn’t the security guard do something or gosh they only had one security guard. Get a clue! So a security guard is supposed to round up all of these animals in the dark while floodwaters rage. And don’t forget…..you have a polar bear on the loose at the same time. So maybe the guard trys to do something but finds the bear in the dark. Now what?? If the guard had to shoot the bear to save his or her life then you would have a PETA riot on your hands! The staff at the zoo couldn’t do anything till the bear situation was solved. I think PETA just showed they don’t have a clue.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 31 9
If PETA wants to press charges or sue, then they should file similar suits everytime a barnyard animal dies.
Thousands a day.
The problem with PETA lies not in their beliefs but in their actions. They believe in making a big huffing and puffing scene to bring attention to their organization…it turns more people off than it turns on and their mission suffers for it.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 34 10
Just another group of nuts abusing the court system for their own gain. PETA cares as much about animals as I do about the dark side of the moon.
Like or Dislike: 20 9
Bac-”PETA cares as much about animals as I do about the dark side of the moon”
Not a Pink Floyd fan hey? LMAO. If PETA thinks there is case for negligence then that to me is proof there isn’t on just own merit. Great ideal in concept, good cause, but a bunch of wacko nits who are clueless IMHO. Remember about 15 years ago they broke into largest mink farm in country in Iowa in middle of night and set all the minks free. The minks were bred and born in captivity and there were want to say 10,000 of them. The farm was adjacent to major highway and they were all killed by morning from being run over…..awesome.
“Look around you, obviously Darwin was wrong”…fastone
Like or Dislike: 16 11
News Flash…..Conspiracy, Berlin ate the donkey. Big cover-up…..!
Hot debate. What do you think? 18 12
Where do people and PETA want the animals moved to during an “emergancy”? Maybe it would be an idea for the zoo to have a block of rooms down at the Radison so the polar bears could be sent there, I hope that the bears don’t mind sharing a room with the Siberian tiger and a couple of ducks
Like or Dislike: 18 10
You are right! Here was PETA the night of the flood? How come they didn’t dispatch their members to help out that night?
Like or Dislike: 9 7
I made the first comment at the top after I discovered this tragedy. I felt gutted,,, even had a nightmare about the drowned and traumatized animals. They are trapped in stables, pens, enclosures – it’s a zoo afterall. But the recriminations that I am reading on here and PETA’s letter, I believe, are heartless and cruel. Sure, I think there was negligence on the part of the director for not implementing an emergency evacuation plan (was there one?). Accountability lies at the doorstep of the director, as it should. BUT the staff and management demonstrated their commitment and dedication to the animals. Therefore, I don’t anyone should be fired or reprimanded and I wouldn’t call anyone incompetent because I would rather a lesson be learned from this so the animals didn’t die in vain. In the context of this natural disaster, I think some humility, forgiveness and empathy is due. The zookeepers, the director and the society must be feeling very despondent and possibly guilty. Lets not forget, the zoo has only just picked itself up off the floor. Be good citizens, friends and support them.
Like or Dislike: 16 5
Blighty, that was a kind and well appointed post. Accordingly to LSZ there is an outpouring of support, donations and fundraisers in the works. Behind the scenes anonymous citizens came forward to rebuild our zoo. My heart melts to hear that children are selling drawings of the zoo animals for donations and running lemonade stands for the flood relief.
Like or Dislike: 14 3
A lot of people are saying it’s no one’s fault because it’s so traumatic. Everyone makes mistakes. We need to find out exactly what went wrong so it never happens again. Negligence is part of the reality here. If we don’t accept that then were enabling ourselves to make more mistakes.
Like or Dislike: 12 7
Reality is part of the reality here, too. You make the best plans you can with the resources you have for every emergency that could reasonably be expected to come up. Closing the zoo altogether is the only 100% foolproof way to ensure the safety of those animals.
Like or Dislike: 16 3
I also took care of animals that whole day (when we got about 4 inches of rain) and through the night (when we picked up about another 3 or 4). You know how many I lost? None. They’re all here and accounted for (and enjoying the somewhat better weather). Yeah, it meant I was moving animals around and throwing them more feed and getting drenched in the process, but I saw to it during daylight hours so I wouldn’t have to go fumbling around at night, that I had done all I could to make sure they would be comfortable and safe. That’s what you do when you have animals to take care of. The responsibility doesn’t stop when the weather turns bad.
I say, if, like a lot of other posters here feel NO ONE should have to go back onto the zoo property and account for possible loose animals, and especially not the dangerous ones (after, as in this situation, they obviously were notified by DFD/ 911 of the escaped seal on Grand Ave. and didn’t just come back out of some sense of duty or of their own volition, but were called in), pull their accreditation until such time as they can ensure under some sort of worst case scenario, that the animals and the public shall never meet and safety for all can be better ensured.
Like or Dislike: 11 17
MMmm…seems like you’re preaching from the pulpit of the Church of the Immaculate Assumption.
So why would you think the zookeepers weren’t also tending to the animals all day during the day in the rain on tuesday just as you were to make sure they’d be ok during the night? You appear to be so full of insight, please share how you know they weren’t.
You say that you tended to your animals during day so you didn’t have to get up during night knowing they were taken care of and you had 3-4 inches of rain. I think is safe bet they did the same and like you went to sleep thinking they were secure. The unprecendeted and uncontrollable happened and a flash flood after midnight leaving a 14′ watermark according to the zoo director. The force and speed of the overflow from the culvert surely took but minutes and the force of that much water rushing creates two scenarios not considering.
1- It was fortunate that there wasn’t far more loss of animal life. Maybe because they did make sure things were secure before retired..mmm?
2- Overlooked by all the harpies is that if staff were there at time as the harpies think they should have been…that much water and force…we might be talking about loss of human life also.
You’ve also overlooked one key thing. You claimed you secured your animals during the day so didn’t have to get up during night as I assume they also did. Since all hell really broke loose after midnight what you’re really advocating since you didn’t stay up with your animals all night to ensure their safety is that they should all be taken away from you because you’re unfit to care for them.
Like or Dislike: 16 8
You’re also forgetting one key point, fastone (a misnomer, eh?)–I didn’t kill any of my animals.
Be that as it may, you can try to turn me in somewhere, but really I think you’d have a tough go at that. My animals are all healthy and sleek and alive, on beautiful paddocks, with lots of grazing and feed in the barn.
When I went in for the evening (Tues. evening), which in the summer, would typically be 9:00 or 9:30, usually when it starts to get dark, I was comfortable that I had my animals situated quite well for whatever ensued, as I had checked at various time throughout the day that they all had dry areas to go to.
But then I also know the topographical features of my land. My pastures slope naturally and have been somewhat built up, so water will fall away from most. I have woods, grasses and brush surrounding my land, which is a buffer for many things, and in this instance, probably absorbed lots of the water. Most importantly, I do not have a body of water running through my land that can flood, or has a history of flooding, nor do I live in a part of town that historically floods for lesser rain than we had last week. I do not have any animals situated at the bottom of a bowl, the lowest point almost of that land, and with a creek running adjacent to it, a creek that has flooded previously. If for some odd reason, I had that setup, I would have tried to keep any animals in that situation out of harm’s way, given my knowledge of what I mentioned previously and the current weather situation that prevailed last week and the warnings that were issued. I would have done this by moving them to higher ground (not a motel or whatever nonsense a previous commenter wrote).
Part of getting an AZA accreditation is to provide safe management of the animals for their health and well-being and also for public safety. I’m just not seeing that and commending certain ones for a job unspectacularly performed in a difficult situation doesn’t help to fix that problem.
Bottom line and that’s all I have to say on the subject!
Like or Dislike: 6 9
Sorry went right over your head….to point that admit you didn’t check on animals after 9:30PM but still judging and condemning others for doing the EXACT same thing you did..SMH!!…Whooooshhhh..oh, you didn’t check because you know the lay of your land?…Well, they knew the zoo also and last flash flood they only had a few inches and never lost any animals nor even had the animals lives threatened by drowning before…apparently you’ve never heard the term judge not least ye’ be judged? BTW…you’ve not backed your earlier condemnation that asked you to prove…to show proof that they didn’t do exactly as you did during the day…and still didn’t get a clue..mmm.
Whhhoooosh…obviously you don’t get it…you’re condemning others for something that couldn’t have been forseen, that’s never happened before, that if anyone at fault was railroad as understand it and playing Miss pious condemning them after the fact and to top it off…for doing the exact same thing you did with what appears to be the same reasoning process…don’t think one could get any more sanctimonious then that. You also didn’t get the sarcasm in the irony that you’re advocating they aren’t fit to care for the animals when they did the same thing you did when said you were then advocating your animals should be taken away because you’re unfit to care for them. Sigh..that should have turned on a light bulb but apparently not…as you then are trying to place blame on them for where the zoo is located forgawdsakes…
I envy those that are so perfect and righteous that there’s nothing left for them to do but judge others for not being as perfect.
“May all those that judge others, burn in hell!”..Bertrand Russel..
Like or Dislike: 8 7
But fastone, my animals are all alive….the zoo’s aren’t and that’s what makes them a zoo…no one wants to go see a display of dead animals.
Fastone, you’re cruelly depriving a village somewhere of their idiot.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”, George Santayana.
Like or Dislike: 5 5
It’s too bad the animals died but the reality of it for me is that I don’t care at all. As a matter of fact, it was probably best for them. Probably what they really wanted. How many times have you heard of prisoners committing suicide in their cages because they hated the life of being pent up? Try and tell me that those animals loved their cages and loss of freedom. I triple-dog-dare you.
Like or Dislike: 5 6
You should go out and get a set of legos so you have something to occupy your time.
Like or Dislike: 4 4
I want to thank you for welcoming me back after my hiatus. I lost my whole slew of cyberstalkers but you’ve shown the requisite drive and ambition to become my first since my return. Commendable. As I warned all of my other ones, you should probably be open and tell your significant other about me to head off any potential heartbreak or homewrecking. You know that there can never be anything between us because I don’t swing that way but your life partner may get jealous of you thinking of me all the time. You should really try hard not to think of me when you go to bed at night. As I understand it, this is the event that has caused the most trouble for my fans.
Like or Dislike: 3 4
Why don’t you spend your time helping with the cleanup of the flood damage? We had over 400 people at Chester last night. Would that be a better use of your time?
Like or Dislike: 4 2
Curiouser and curiouser. You tell me to help with flood damage yet here you are dangling off my junk again, hanging on every word I say. Hypocrite much? Methinks you should tend to your own knitting before trying to live everyone else’s lives for them. Somehow, the rest of us get along just fine without your supervision and harassment.
Like or Dislike: 3 3
I would only be a hypocrite if I wasn’t out in knee deep water last night at Chester. Interesting that you try to lump yourself in with everyone else posing on here. You said “Somehow, the rest of us get along just fine without your supervision and harassment.” Really?? People have had homes wash away and here you are posting infantile remarks. Get out and do something with your life.
Like or Dislike: 5 2
Did you ever stop to think, (assuredly not), that I couldn’t care one whit less about other’s problems? I and everyone else has got their own problems. Except for you and the rest of your moral militia. No one came and helped me unflood my basement. Where were you? Nowhere to be found, that’s where. So go cry to your momma, not to me, because I couldn’t care any less. Life is hard and is all about loss. Everyone has to take their lumps. I took mine and did what had to be done. So go and play the knight in shining armor if that’s what floats your boat but don’t get all high and mighty with me because it doesn’t impress me.
Like or Dislike: 2 5
You have dug yourself a deep hole. Last week while we were in the middle of our flood you wrote….and I quote word for word what you wrote….” I would be very curious to see what these jokers would do in the event of a REAL emergency and REAL damage. This “flood”, such as it is, is absolutely nothing. The fact that people are going completely crazy over it proves they haven’t an inkling of what a serious event is. I haven’t even heard of any injuries or deaths, except some old barnyard animals. Nature throws a minor tantrum and you think it’s the end of days. Get real. The sun will still come up tomorrow, you’re still alive and you have your health. You that are making a huge deal out of a rain storm are soft. Toughen up and quit your crying.”
I wonder what the fine people of Barnum and Moose lake think of your comments? Or how about Thompson? Instead of trying to get out of the hole you dug for yourself why don’t you help others dig themselves out of the flood?
I stand by my comment. As far as natural disasters go, this “flood” was nothing. Pretty mild. And I don’t know how many times you have to hear me repeat myself like a broken record but I do not care about other people’s problems. I have my own washing to get done. They’ll live. They lost material possessions? So what. So did I and a lot of others. It’s not a big deal. This could have been very much worse so they should be thankful they have their health and not a pine box for their family members. There is no other way to look at it.
47 comments & no mention that this is about global warming caused by the heating of the atmosphere from human fossil fuel burning causing more evaporation & thus heavier rainstorms. Cities across Mn. are being advised to rebuild their sewer systems to deal with bigger storms due to climate change.
Like or Dislike: 5 3
And I bet you’ve been out there every day stopping anyone from using their gas-powered tools and equipment to do clean-up, right? I wouldn’t want to think you’re a hypocrite or anything.
Like or Dislike: 4 1
Berlin really ate the donkey…
Like or Dislike: 0 0
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