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article imageOp-Ed: Photo Essay — Honoring the Calgary Zoo post flood 2013

By Grace C. Visconti     Jul 15, 2013 in Travel
Calgary - This Photo Essay honors the Calgary Zoo animals that were traumatized during the devastating flood in Calgary, Alberta, June 2013. A revisit to the zoo on June 22 was postponed due to massive flooding of the Bow and Elbow rivers from torrential rainfall.
Just before the torrential rain caused the flood of 2013 in Calgary and surrounding areas of Canmore, Banff, High River, Bragg Creek as well as other neighbouring towns, I was about to revisit the popular Calgary Zoo. Excited at the thought of taking photos of the animals on the weekend of June 22-23, I prepared my Nikon D7000 camera on Thursday morning for a Saturday visit to the Calgary Zoo.
A wolf pauses at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo an...
A wolf pauses at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
A hawk rests on a tree branch before taking flight at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo...
A hawk rests on a tree branch before taking flight at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
A Bald Eagle sits on a branch at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors th...
A Bald Eagle sits on a branch at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
A buffalo rests peacefully at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the C...
A buffalo rests peacefully at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
A caribou sleeps at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo...
A caribou sleeps at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
While listening to the radio at work on Thursday, the emergency alert went off what seemed like every half hour ordering people in communities of Calgary and neighbouring mountain communities and towns to evacuate because of flash floods. Calgary and neighbouring communities as far north and south as two hours away were under a state of emergency. The Calgary Zoo, a very popular attraction for locals, national and international visitors, was hit hard due to the proximity of the raging Bow and Elbow rivers. The Calgary Zoo is located on St. George’s Island east of downtown. In fact, the Calgary Zoo ended up in the middle of the fast moving Bow River as it swelled beyond its banks showing no mercy to anything or anyone in its path.
A large butterfly rests on a leaf at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honor...
A large butterfly rests on a leaf at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
Two birds sit on a fence at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Cal...
Two birds sit on a fence at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
A peacock struts along a pathway at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors...
A peacock struts along a pathway at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
Blue birds rest on a branch at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the ...
Blue birds rest on a branch at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
My enthusiasm suddenly turned to sadness and concern for the safety of the animals and the employees who took care of them. Many zoo employees risked their own lives to secure the animals and transport them to higher ground or a safer environment. An angry hippo almost escaped as it swam into a public viewing area, and potentially could have ended up in the fast flowing Bow River. For details of this story, check out the description in the article Hippos nearly high-tail it from Calgary Zoo.
Penguins gather to form a group at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors ...
Penguins gather to form a group at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
A penguin plays in water at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Cal...
A penguin plays in water at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
A penguin goes for a stroll at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the ...
A penguin goes for a stroll at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
During my attempted revisit to the Calgary Zoo, I was going to take photos of the lions but the large cats — lions, snow leopards and tigers — were transported to higher ground in another part of the zoo and the animal care centre. It was a heroic feat even moving the animals from their familiar spacious homes where they loved to play and roam the grassy area that was allotted to them. Check out the Global News Calgary video (aerial view) on Friday June 21 of the flooded Calgary Zoo and extent of the devastation that day.
A mountain sheep pauses on top of a rocky area at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo alb...
A mountain sheep pauses on top of a rocky area at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
A mountain goat looks over a ledge at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that hono...
A mountain goat looks over a ledge at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
Two tigers rest in the grass.
Two tigers rest in the grass.
A snow leopard gazes intensely at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors t...
A snow leopard gazes intensely at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
This flood has dramatically altered the Calgary Zoo with 40 buildings severely damaged. The building that showcased animals from South America was closed for good. Thankfully, other zoos across Canada offered to take them and gave the animals new homes. The aftermath of the Calgary Zoo was in the millions — $50 million lost to damages and $10 million lost in revenue. Sadly, the loss of some species of animals was even more heartbreaking. Two peacocks, a pot-bellied pig and a variety of fish died.
A giraffe eats at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo a...
A giraffe eats at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
Close-up of a camel at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary ...
Close-up of a camel at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
A black bear rests behind a rock at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors...
A black bear rests behind a rock at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
A tiger sits and looks beyond the fence at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that...
A tiger sits and looks beyond the fence at the Calgary Zoo. This image is part of a photo album that honors the Calgary Zoo animals and was taken before the devastating June 2013 flood in Calgary, Alberta.
The Calgary Zoo will open the north part of the zoo first on July 31 that includes the Penguin Plunge, Prehistoric Park and Canadian Wilds. But it will take five months before it can fully reopen after the severe flooding in June 2013.
For more information on updates and if you’d like to donate for the purpose of supporting the rebuilding plan, check out the Calgary Zoo website or go to the zoo facebook page for the most current information. With weeks of construction work ahead, the Calgary Zoo is getting a lot of support from the community, visitors, and supporters from out of town. The new slogan promoting the zoo rebuild is “2 by 2 Rebuild the Zoo.” Thank you to the people who are assisting in the clean up and rebuilding efforts. The Calgary Zoo, a world-class and beloved local attraction, will be back to normal soon.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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