Flooding after heavy rains has shut down Miami’s zoo amid fears that big felines and other animals might be able to swim their way out, authorities said Monday.
Zoo Miami, one of the main tourist attractions in low-lying south Florida, was shut down until further notice.
After almost 11 inches (28 centimeters) of rain in a 24-hour period “the water level got so high that animals that are potentially dangerous — whether it be big cats, bears, things like that — could swim across the moat and get out” spokesman Ron Magill told CBS Miami.
“There is a huge public safety issue there,” he said.
Other animals such as antelopes and giraffes which have “normal, dry moats” were also in danger, Magill said.
“Those moats also filled up with water and these are animals that if they fell in the moats could potentially drown, so it’s a big threat to those animals,” he stressed.
The zoo first shut its doors as waters rose on Saturday.