- (PHOTO:Reuters/Ilya Naymushin)
Several animals at the Lake Supreme Zoo in Duluth, Minn. drowned to death on Wednesday after harsh wind and rain ransacked the area, causing the overflow of sewage tanks forming swamp like conditions on the roads.
"We have 11 confirmed dead animals, most of them barnyard animals," said the zoo's marketing director Holly Henry to MSNBC.com. "Two thirds of the zoo is under water."
Only one of the zoo's barnyard animals survived the harsh weather conditions, according to zoo spokeswoman Keely Johnson.
The animals that were found dead included goats, donkey and sheep, but a full assessment of the situation has not yet been made due to the flooding. There could be even more animals that perished as Johnson told the Duluth News Tribune that the zoo's raven and vulture cages are still submerged.
Several animals escaped the zoo during the incident including a seal that was found on nearby Grand Avenue and a polar bear that was immediately darted and quarantined after being discovered outside the grounds of the establishment.
The more dangerous animals remained within the zoo's property during the rain and flooding, according to Johnson.
Flash flood warnings are in effect across Duluth through Wednesday night.
Many residents have already evacuated the area as it has already been hit with eight inches of rain. The city has been declared to be in a state of emergency by the mayor, Don Ness.
"There is another band of rain on our way, so it is likely to get worse before it gets better," he said.
The mayor also highlighted the biggest issues plaguing the city due to the torrential rainfall.
"There are certainly reports of streets being washed out, but the more significant problems are as the water comes over the ridge and starts rushing down the hill, overwhelming our storm systems, overwhelming our culvert system and creating that forward momentum of rushing water," continued Ness.