A second serious Prague zoo flood in this short century has again forced zoo officials to evacuate or move many of the animals to higher ground.
As The Inquisitr reported a few hours ago, the flood waters in Central Europe continued to rise on Tuesday, forcing widespread evacuation of human populations in Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. Many world historic cities are now flooded.
Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic. Its zoo is located along the Vltava River, which will likely reach its highest levels sometime on Tuesday afternoon.
Zoo officials fully understand the stakes.
The Prague Zoo website carries a photo album of the frightening images from the 2002 zoo flooding tragedy. There are distressing images of the zoo underwater but also inspiring ones such as a rhino being hoisted to safety.
An elephant, a hippo, and a gorilla were lost in that flood.
A 33-year-old Indian elephant’s fate was particularly sad, as he had become trapped in his enclosures with the water slowly rising. Zoo officials weren’t able to safely rescue him and ultimately decided to kill him rather than watch helplessly as he suffered and drowned.
In what a BBC report described as a “dramatic overnight operation,” Prague zoo employees worked feverishly on Monday night to move 1,000 animals to safety. A brief video below will show you what was involved in tranquilizing and transporting the tigers.
There’s a report that a flamingo’s leg was broken, but otherwise the process seems to have gone smoothly, considering the number of animals involved.
A second video gives you an overall look at the flooded conditions in and around the Prague zoo.
Twenty-seven people are known to have died in the 2002 flood. The current emergency isn’t projected to be as bad, but it’s serious enough for the people and the Prague zoo animals waiting for the flood waters to depart.
[tiger swimming photo by Hans Stieglitz via Wikimedia Commons]