July 25 was just a routine Thursday. Our staff was in their weekly safety meeting discussing emergency scenarios. A friend of Animal Ark called to check the status of our Thursday Cheetah Exercise time. And then rain started coming down – HARD! All of the Animal Keepers raced out of the safety meeting and into a deluge of water, penny-sized hail, and wind to check each animal and provide shelter. Within minutes, waters were raging through the facility; it was a flash flood. The badger’s enclosure, designed to hold dirt in and let trickling snow melt out, was starting to fill with water when the keepers arrived and dug new drains. The two male cheetahs had to cross a rushing stream of water to get to their shelter, which was cause for hesitation. Khan the white tiger simply stayed perched on the wooden platform in his yard watching the new river flow through his lockout nearby. When all was done, Animal Ark endured an hour of heavy rains and rushing waters. Ponds (such as the bear pond in the photo) were filled with mud, trails were washed away, and animals were soaking wet. But everyone was safe and sound. Thank you to Animal Ark’s staff and volunteers for your hard work!
About the Author: Alex Worsley
Alex joined the Animal Ark team in 2007 as a volunteer after moving to Reno to pursue a Ph.D. in Cognitive and Brain Sciences from UNR. A dedicated husband and father, Alex loves working with the families and school groups that visit Animal Ark. His varied background has aided Animal Ark in formulating safety protocols and dynamic education programs.