When the river begins to rise, many of us make sure our family and property is safe. But for the Chahinkapa Zoo in Wahpeton, they have more than 200 animals to worry about. And with this years latest forecast, showing possible flooding in the area, the zoo has a plan to make sure all species stay dry.
Chahinkapa Zoo's curator Tom Schmaltz stays busy, training animals and training staff. But this time of year, those duties seem to multiply. A nightmare of water rolled in years back destroying many parts of the zoo. And since then they have made sure that doesn't happen again. "Everything at this side of the levee is what we will move out." Since 1997, the zoo has built holding spots for animals like the snow leopards.
"These guys move out when it hits a certain height." At first, the group here says moving animals that weigh an average of one thousand pounds was a challenge. "It was controlled chaos."
Llamas, Camels, El pacos, and donkey, it might sound like a mouthful but they will all be brought together here when the levels start to rise because after the food of 1997, a levee was built that will keep this area dry. With so much training in place, it takes about an hour for them to get all of the animals moved. "Every year gets easier." Because if the animals are ready, that mean's Tom duties are complete.
The zoo plans to open April 27th, Snow or sun.