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HomeLatest NewsCentral Park Zoo's Flooding Affords New Yorker a Brief Sense of Freedom

Central Park Zoo’s Flooding Affords New Yorker a Brief Sense of Freedom

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Amid record-breaking rainfall and flash flooding in New York City, a sea lion at the Central Park Zoo took advantage of the rising waters to venture out of its enclosure. The zoo staff closely monitored the sea lion as it explored the flooded area before safely returning to the pool with the company of two other sea lions. The Wildlife Conservation Society’s four zoos and aquarium were closed during the extreme weather to ensure the safety of the animals and facilities. While misleading videos circulated online about escaped zoo animals, the NYPD’s Central Park precinct assured the public that all the zoo’s animals, including the sea lions, were accounted for and safe.

California sea lions, known for their playful and intelligent nature, reside in all five of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s facilities in New York City. Adult female sea lions weigh around 240 pounds and measure about 6 feet long, while the larger males can reach up to 700 pounds and 7.5 feet in length. This incident of a sea lion making a brief escape is not the first time a New York City zoo animal has made headlines. In 2011, an Egyptian cobra managed to slither out of its enclosure at the Bronx Zoo, leading to a city-wide search and a week of excitement and media coverage.

As the city went into a state of emergency, New Yorkers were urged to stay at home. Governor Kathy Hochul pleaded with residents during the storm, emphasizing the seriousness of the “historic” flooding and the importance of ensuring public safety. New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley were all under the state of emergency. Despite the challenges posed by the heavy rainfall and flooding, the sea lion’s escapade brought a unique and charming moment amidst the chaos.

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