07/09/2013 06:43 EDT | Updated 09/08/2013 05:12 EDT

Calgary Zoo Closing South American Exhibit Due To Flooding

Calgary Zoo
CALGARY - The Calgary Zoo says one of its buildings was damaged so extensively in the flood that it has to shut it down and find new homes for 34 animals.

Dr. Clément Lanthier, zoo president and CEO, says the South America building was one of the hardest hit when raging floodwaters swamped Calgary in June.

He says the animals that were housed in the building include two hyacinth macaws, seven yellow-headed Amazon parrots, two prehensile-tailed porcupines, two-toed sloths, two giant anteaters and several types of monkeys.

Lanthier says it was determined that with their limited resources, it wasn't worth it to fix the building.

Exactly where the animals are going has not been finalized, but they will be moved within the next two weeks.

"We know people will be sad that these animals are leaving us, but we need to think of their welfare and we simply can’t provide for their long-term needs in the foreseeable future," Lanthier said in a news release on Tuesday.

Prior to the flood, the zoo was looking for new homes for one white stork, one Parma wallaby, two black swans and seven Rock hyraxes. The zoo says that search is ongoing and these animals will also be transferred to other facilities as soon as possible.

This brings the total of animals to be moved to 45 individuals representing 15 species.

“This is the sad reality that we face – the Calgary Zoo has been forever changed by the flood on June 21st,” Lanthier said.

“But with the support of our community, we will eventually be able to replace these ruined facilities and create a new Calgary Zoo that is even better than before.”

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