SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — All the animals evacuated from San Jose’s Happy Hollow Park and Zoo before last month’s big flood have been returned to their exhibits, but the park is in need of repairs and some help.
The animals were cleared out of Happy Hollow during the flooding of Coyote Creek, which runs right through the park. The flood inundated the lower portion of the zoo grounds.
On Tuesday, the last animals to return to their homes at the zoo were the meerkats.
Zoo Director Valerie Riegel said the meerkats were kept in the bathroom of the zoo’s veterinary clinic.
“We figured that they would take advantage of the height of the toilet, because they like to have guards on duty, sentinals, and they like to have a place for that sentinel to get up high.”
Riegel says they taped the toilet seat down with duct tape. “They can get into stuff,” said Riegel. “So we didn’t want them taking a swim, or accidentally going in.”
The animals are doing fine, but the zoo itself suffered some water damage, mostly to support buildings.
“The most damage was to the enrichment barn (which houses all the ‘toys’ for the animals), staff break room, animal food preparation room, public restrooms, apiary and parrot barn,” says a statement from Riegel posted on the zoo’s website.
Damage could be in the tens of thousands of dollars, and the zoo is accepting donations through its website, hhpz.org.
Happy Hollow, which has been in business since 1961, is also offering tickets at a reduced rate while a portion of the zoo is closed for flood clean up.