SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. — Volunteers swarmed into the Riverside Zoo in Scottsbluff Monday morning after increasing floodwaters made a lake out of the employee parking area and caused a small stream to form around the education building.
Riverside Discovery Center Executive Director Anne James said floodwaters began invading the zoo property Sunday afternoon, and by Monday morning, about 6 to 12 inches of water covered much of the employee parking lot. In addition, the education building is surrounded by water.
Volunteers transferred animal food to a refrigerator truck and moved all items from the education building to the front office. James said a trailer will be used for storage.
She said that nearly all the animals have been moved to the quarantine/hospital building, which sits on higher ground, but that the hoof stock would remain in enclosures, along with the chimpanzees and large cats.
“The animals are all where they need to be for a high-water event,” James said.
She said Roger Rojas of Oregon Trail Plumbing would dig a trench where the water is coming in to slow the amount of water entering the zoo. Rojas is a Riverside Discovery Center board member.
James said that in addition to volunteer help, the zoo needs a couple of gas-powered generators and a flat-bottom boat with oars. But it’s also in need of financial assistance.
“We’ve had huge expenses with this event that we would normally not incur. With the zoo being closed, we’re losing money hand over fist with no revenue coming in.”