A female sea lion named Sally managed to escape her pool at the Central Park Zoo as record-setting rain in New York City flooded homes, businesses, schools, the subway and the grounds at the zoo over the weekend.
Sally was able to swim out of her pool on Friday due to flooding of the plaza amid severe rains, according to Jim Breheny, director of the Bronx Zoo and executive vice-president of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Zoos and Aquarium.
“Zoo staff monitored the sea lion as she explored the area before returning to the familiar surroundings of the pool and the company of the other two sea lions,” he said in a statement.
As the water levels receded, the animals remained contained to their exhibit, despite it seems, Sally just wanting ride around.
“No staff or visitors were in danger and the sea lion remained inside the zoo, never breaching the zoo’s secondary perimeter,” Breheny added.
But not without much confusion about what transpired at the zoo after videos circulated of the frolicking sea lions in rising water.
Some suggesting perhaps Sally been running all over town now.
Thanks @NYPDCentralPark for helping to set the record straight! After briefly exploring the flooded plaza inside the zoo, sea lion Sally returned to the enclosure, the flood waters receded & all is well @centralparkzoo w/ our sea lions all safely content in their exhibit. https://t.co/bQsIwkc51E— Jim Breheny (@JimBreheny) September 29, 2023
The Wildlife Conservation Society had closed the zoo, and four other facilities it oversees, as a state of emergency was declared in the city.
Staff took care of the animals and kept an eye on the facilities during the storm.
Videos you are seeing are from earlier today! The flooding @centralparkzoo receded hours ago! No people or animals were at risk during the flooding. The sea lions are safe and back in their enclosure and we will monitor them all night. @JimBreheny and our team are on top of the…— Monica Medina (@MonicaMedinaDC) September 29, 2023
California sea lions are exhibited in all five WCS facilities – the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo and New York Aquarium.
One thing is certain. For a fleeting time anyway.
Sally got to ride, Sally, ride.