ALBERTA

Calgary Zoo Partially Reopens July 31

07/26/2013 02:24 EDT
Calgary Zoo

Five weeks after a flood hit southern Alberta and the Calgary Zoo faced extensive damage from flood-waters, the facility is preparing for a partial reopening next Wednesday.

Admission prices will be reduced as 60-acres of the northern section - including the Penguin Plunge, Canadian Wilds, Karsten Discovery Centre and Prehistoric Park - will reopen to visitors. All current zoo memberships are also extended for three months past their expiry date.

The catastrophic flood resulted in $50 million of damage at the zoo with some areas being permanently closed, another $10 million in lost revenue, 287 lay-offs and many animals being relocated to other zoos and parks.

"Yet in the aftermath of disaster, we see hope," Calgary Zoo CEO Clement Lanthier said in a statement.

"We remain committed to our mission – to take and inspire action to sustain wildlife and wild places," he added.

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Flooding At The Calgary Zoo

The zoo says it will take five months before it can fully reopen its doors and that it is still looking for the support of volunteers.

During the height of the flooding, zebras were moved to the zoo's wildlife conservation centre outside the city and about 160 animals had to be moved to higher ground.

Two hippos almost escaped when high water levels lifted them close to the top of their enclosure.

Giraffes standing up to their bellies in cold water were ailing after the flood, but have since recovered.

Two peacocks, a pot-bellied pig and a variety of fish died.

"The flood of 2013 may have changed our city and your Calgary Zoo forever. But we know that with the support of our community, we can rebuild and create a new and better Calgary Zoo that you will continue to be proud to call yours," said Lanthier.

With files from The Canadian Press