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Forum Communications, Published September 24 2012

Duluth zoo cited after flood deaths

DULUTH -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited the Lake Superior Zoo for inadequate shelter for its farm animals at the West Duluth facility. The zoo has since satisfied the USDA’s demand that the zoo provide adequate shelter at its farm animal exhibit.

Six sheep and four goats died at the zoo during the June flooding that devastated the region. The routine inspection by the USDA on Aug. 28 found that a “lack of adequate shelter does not ensure the health, well-being and/or comfort of the animals.”

Peter Pruett, director of zoo operations, said most of the protection for the animals is out of the zoo’s hands as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources works to improve the drainage of Kingsbury Creek that flows through the zoo property.

Dave Sacks, a spokesman for the USDA, confirmed that the citation was addressed and corrected by the zoo.

A donkey, turkey vulture and a snowy owl were also found drowned June 20 after a 10-inch rainfall flooded the zoo.