When Hurricane Harvey hit landfall, various exhibits and trees were damaged at the Texas Zoo in Victoria, Tx., but no animals were hurt. However after the Guadalupe River burst its banks, flooding the zoo, it was necessary to move the animals to higher ground and some smaller animals did die.

Texas Zoo sets up GoFundMe campaign

Located around 130 miles from Houston, the Texas Zoo in Victoria is being assisted by teams from the San Antonio Zoo and Fort Worth Zoo, to help in assessing damage and starting a cleanup. Fox 13 reports the zoo has also started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds towards fixing the damage. At present, they cannot accurately assess the damage, as flood waters from Hurricane Harvey continue to rise.

Animals evacuated and moved to higher ground

While damage is being assessed, it was the animals that were of prime concern when the flooding hit, with both the San Antonio Zoo and Fort Worth Zoo assisting. The Fort Worth Zoo said on its website that they were taking a team to the Texas Zoo, along with animal crates and boats, together with experts to help assess the damage and to start cleanup operations. However their priority was also towards the animals, placed in danger by the floods and which had to be moved.

Jimmy Zaplac, Zoo Board President, was with workers on Thursday, wading through the flood waters to move the animals to drier land. According to Zaplac, almost all the animals survived, but besides mentioning a hog that died, he didn’t say which others didn’t make it.

While repairs are ongoing, animals will need to relocate to other zoos for the time being.

Zaplac added that he was shocked to see the extent of the damage to the zoo and couldn’t imagine how much it will cost to rebuild and repair. He added that the “zoo is a wreck” and was waist-deep in water.

As reported by the Victoria Advocate, SeaWorld San Antonio also got involved with the other zoos to help with the evacuation of smaller animals from Texas Zoo. These included ocelots, birds, a javelina, and a goat by the name of Oreo. According to that report, larger animals, such as bears, jaguars, lions and tigers, are currently safe and will stay in the zoo while the water recedes.

Flood brings back memories of 1998 flood

The Victoria Advocate reports that the flood brought back memories of a similar disaster in October 1998, which was the only other time it had been necessary to evacuate animals from the zoo.

However, Dr. Thomas Culberson, a veterinarian at Texas Zoo, said the situation from Harvey is worse than that of 1998.

Teams from San Antonio Zoo and SeaWorld San Antonio have also reportedly been assisting the Downtown Aquarium, located in Houston, with their animal care following Hurricane Harvey.