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Calgary Zoo staff  
By jordansys on Mar 19, 2014 06:01 AM
Calgary Zoo staff risked lives stopping hippo www.warriorsteamproshop.com/jarrett_jack_jersey.html from escaping into river

CALGARY Staff risked their lives to stop a hippo from escaping and to usher ailing giraffes to dry ground during the recent flood, a Calgary Zoo spokesman said Tuesday.

"It was a cross between 'The Poseidon Adventure' and 'Jurassic Park,"' said Jake Veasey, the zoo's director of animal care, conservation and research.

Veasey and other workers spent the weekend at the African Savannah exhibit juggling two challenges at once: moving shivering giraffes out of belly deep water and securing an angry hippo that had escaped his holding area.

A glass window had to be broken for Veasey to get into a building to tend to the giraffes skittish creatures that don't cope well with cold and stress.

The building was so full of murky, brown water that he had to don a wet suit and swim to the back of the building to get to the giraffe enclosure.

At that point, the hippos were still where they were supposed to be, but, just in case, a shipping container was placed over a window that the hippos could have swam Harrison Barnes Authentic Jersey through.

Water levels eventually rose high www.warriorsteamproshop.com/harrison_barnes_jersey.html enough for the dangerous herbivores to swim over the tops of their enclosure. Now they were able to move freely about the African Savannah building.

"There was the potential for the hippos to swim out of this building into a flooded zoo and Jarrett Jack Blue Jersey potentially into the Bow River and we could have had hippos God knows where," said Veasey.

"They could have been 20 or 30 miles downstream."

Veasey said the powerful beasts could have easily pushed through the glass front doors, so cinder blocks and construction equipment were put there to block their way.

One of the two hippos, an older female named Sparky, stayed put. But a younger male named Lobi was much more adventurous.

"He was having a whale of a time just exploring a much bigger hippo pool than he was used to."

Lobi stayed at the front of the building for a while, while Veasey and his colleagues were around the back, trying to coax nervous giraffes out of the building and to dry land through an unfamiliar exit.

The zookeepers had to live with the possibility that Lobi could come closer. They had a high calibre rifle handy just in case.

"They certainly kill more people in Africa than lions ever do. They're arguably the most dangerous African vertebrate," said Veasey, who could only tell where the hippo was by the rustling of debris.

At one point, Lobi managed to squeeze through a narrow door into a corridor and found himself stuck and furious.

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