Johnson Park zoo overflooded with water, trapping animals inside

The Johnson Park Animal Haven in Piscataway became overflooded with water from Ida, trapping many of the animals inside.

News 12 Staff

Sep 3, 2021, 2:38 AM

Updated 954 days ago

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Johnson Park zoo overflooded with water, trapping animals inside
The Johnson Park Animal Haven in Piscataway became overflooded with water from Ida, trapping many of the animals inside.
County park officials say that they are working to get the animals to dry land.
But some New Jersey residents say that officials are not doing enough.
LIVE UPDATES: Tracking Ida
"I'm being told that there's no more materials to build any more enclosures for right now. They have no clean drinking water and there's no food left in the pens,” says Michele Gugliotci, of North Brunswick. "I'm being told that they're building emergency pens at Thompson Park, as of now. But it's, what, 24 hours in. The animals have been standing in knee-deep and chest-deep water before they did anything about it."
The flooding has come from the Raritan River. The water is still rising in some places.
A Middlesex County representative responded to News 12's report with this statement:
"As you know, our State, and Middlesex County in particular, have experienced unprecedented flooding and damage in the past few days as a result of remnants of Hurricane Ida.  The destruction of property and livelihoods, and the sad, tragic loss of human life, are staggering.  
The staff at the Office of Parks and Recreation have been onsite at Johnson Park since early on Wednesday evening to deal with the rising waters and constantly changing conditions.  The smaller animals in the Animal Haven were transported down to our haven in Thompson Park.  The larger and more mobile animals were shepherded through several areas to higher ground near River Road.  As the Raritan River continued to rise, temporary fencing was used to construct additional areas on dry ground where the animals could find refuge, if needed.  All animals under our care are accounted for, and they are all being fed and provided fresh water. Now that the floodwaters have started to recede, the County’s staff will begin the cleanup and repair process throughout Johnson Park. Additionally, the County is reaching out to its vet to schedule a visit and checkup for all animals."  


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