ZooAmerica bison euthanized at Herhseypark to prevent drowning in flood

Posted Thursday, September 8, 2011 11:11 PM | Contributed by KnoebelsGrandCarousel

Rather than let the animals drown in Tropical Storm Lee's rapidly rising floodwaters, zookeepers at Hersheypark's ZooAmerica shot their two beloved American bison to death - and prompted howls of anger across cyberspace. ZooAmerica said in a statement that "unprecedented flooding" trapped the 2,000-pound animals in their pen Wednesday night, while keepers were able to evacuate other zoo inhabitants.

Read more from The Inquirer.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011 11:17 PM

All of the online anger over this seems a little misplaced. Even without a lot of specific details, I give the park the benefit of the doubt that things just got out of control faster than they could react. Seeing how flash floods happen, I can see how that might happen.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011 11:18 PM

Hey, I'd much rather be shot and die quickly than in a slow, agonizing struggle.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011 11:41 PM

Yeah, drowning is at the top of my list of ways I don't wanna go.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011 11:44 PM

Wow, I guess people really do shoot bison in response to Tweety Bird rage.

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Friday, September 9, 2011 12:04 AM

Vater said:
Yeah, drowning is at the top of my list of ways I don't wanna go.

Yeah, it's not too bad - I mean, on a high enough dose of Xanax (or a similar benzodiazepine), it would probably be quite soft and pleasant. Same for flying out of a coaster. They often give death row inmates a high dose the night before :)

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Friday, September 9, 2011 12:37 AM

I think you misunderstood me. Drowning is the worst way to go, in my opinion. On the other hand, if I had to pick a way to go, flying out of a coaster would be a consideration.

People piss me off. It's really unfortunate that these bison had to be shot, but I have to imagine that this is the last thing the zookeepers wanted to do. And then they get **** for it.

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Friday, September 9, 2011 12:39 AM

Yeah. If they'd have let them drown in there, they'd have caught hell for that, too.

What were they supposed to do in a flash flood? Pull a crane over from construction and pull them out that way? That's probably an option, if you don't have to think on your feet.

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Friday, September 9, 2011 12:48 AM

According to the article, "Some asked why the zoo, which said it had two days' notice to prepare, had not tried to relocate the two bison sooner." Hind sight is always 20/20. Sometimes crap happens beyond anyone's control. This was one of those times.

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Friday, September 9, 2011 2:01 AM

I like to think that everyone does the best they can, especially in emergency situations. I feel bad for the zookeepers. They might have loved those animals just like they love their pets.

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Friday, September 9, 2011 4:10 AM

Man, that's horrible!

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Friday, September 9, 2011 6:15 AM

It's pretty bad around south central PA. If you look at WGAL TV 8's website there are over a 1000 pictures of the flooding around the valley. I did see pictures on there of the bison at Zoo America. I'm not sure if they didn't react too late with getting the animals out. I am sure there will be animal rights activists protesting this incident.

It's been raining non stop here for the better part of a week, and the damage has been severe in a lot of areas. That's why hersheypark and knoebels will be closed for the weekend. I personally know 3 families that lost their houses in the flood, and countless with damage in their basement. Good news is that we seem to be over the worse of it.

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Friday, September 9, 2011 8:01 AM

On Hersheypark's Facebook page there is a question and answer section about this incident. This was the last possible resort. This is an area where it almost never floods and it went from a few inches of rain to a few feet of water within minutes.

As Travis said, these zookeepers are very attached to the animals and this is the last thing they wanted to do. After taking exceptional care of these animals day after day, year after year, it must be awful for them to have to come to this decision.

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Friday, September 9, 2011 8:15 AM

I thought that I read that they had moved them to higher ground as best they could, then as the waters rose they tried to evacuate them.

The first animal drowned during the evacuation, which is when they decided that putting the other one down was the only viable option.

I believe that was on ZooAmerica's facebook page, if I'm not mistaken.

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Friday, September 9, 2011 8:29 AM

They are in a bad area of Zoo America right along the stream, and I don't know that they could've saved them. I don't question it. I just know that animal rights activists will be protesting and saying that they could've done more. I'm not calling them out myself, but just saying.

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Friday, September 9, 2011 8:58 AM

In before Majorcut accuses the zookeepers of using the flood as an excuse to shoot the high maintenance bison that they've been wanting to kill for some time now...

...oh, wait.

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Friday, September 9, 2011 9:10 AM

Hershey gotta pay for the new ride, and taking those bison out helps offset that cost. It was just a sound business decision.


(there's a conspiracy theory to work off of..)

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Friday, September 9, 2011 9:34 AM

Shouldn't the title of this thread be "ZooAmerica bison lost at herseypark"?

I think you gotta give the zookeepers the benefit of the doubt on this one. I would think the last thing they would ever want to do is kill and animal if it wasn't necessary. Its possible that had they known 2 days in advance all of the steps the waters would take from A to Z that they might have taken action to save the bison. But they didn't know all of the steps then. They were reacting to the steps as they happened and trying to take care of all of the zoo's animals. As noted, hingsight is 20-20.

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Friday, September 9, 2011 11:00 AM

GoBucks89 said:
Shouldn't the title of this thread be "ZooAmerica bison lost at herseypark"?.

You think you're so tough, hiding behind your keyboard!

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Friday, September 9, 2011 12:03 PM

Hiding behind my monitor more actually. Not sure how effective hiding BEHIND a keyboard is really. Maybe I could hide UNDER the keyboard but at that point I might as well just hide under my desk. Though I think the best protection is probably the stacks of paper on my desk and all around my office. But anyway, whats it to you?

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