The Calgary Zoo was decimated by flooding and crews have been working non-stop to bring the facility back online but some of the infrastructure was damaged so badly that staff have been forced to relocate several animals.

The zoo’s 32 acre island was slammed by flood waters at the end of June and many the buildings were damaged or destroyed.

The South America building sits very close to the banks of the Bow and zoo officials say damage to the building and its systems is so extensive that it will have to close the facility permanently.

Officials say that it doesn’t make sense to invest the zoo’s very limited resources on its repair.

 “Sadly this means we have to quickly find new homes for the 34 individual animals representing 11 species that were housed in this building,” said Dr. Clément Lanthier, zoo president and CEO. “We know people will be sad that these animals are leaving us, but we need to think of their welfare and we simply can’t provide for their long-term needs in the foreseeable future.”

The facility is one of the oldest at the zoo and housed several species native to the jungles of South America.

"The zoo will never be the same and our relationship with the river has also changed forever,"said Dr. Lanthier.

Animals from the South American building that will be relocated to new homes include:

  • Two Hyacinth macaws
  • Seven Yellow-headed Amazon parrots
  • Two Prehensile-tailed porcupines
  • Two Two-toed sloths
  • Two Giant anteaters
  • Two Andean condors
  • FiveGoeldi's monkeys
  • Three Cotton-topped tamarins
  • Two White-handed gibbons
  • Four Black-handed spider monkeys
  • Three Debrazza monkeys

Zoo officials say exact locations are being finalized but they expect the animals to begin moving within the next two weeks.

The zoo is also looking for homes for one white stork, one Parma wallaby, two black swans and seven Rock hyraxes.

The search for new homes for these animals started before the flooding happened and is ongoing.

In total, 45 individual animals representing 15 species will be moved out of the facility.