Duluth zoo cited for inadequate shelter for farm animalsThe U.S. Department of Agriculture 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.
By: Mike Creger, Duluth News Tribune
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, which flows through the zoo property at Grand Avenue and 72nd Avenue West.
Dave Sacks, a spokesman for the USDA, confirmed that the citation was addressed and corrected by the zoo. He did not know what that entailed.
Pruett said mitigating the flooding in the zoo is the ultimate solution.
The culvert under Grand Avenue will be improved and a dam on the creek removed through projects in the next two years, Pruett said. The zoo also will stretch the flood plain of the creek and build diversion channels around its historic bridges to avoid water backups.
The barn for the farm animals is well above the flood plain, Pruett said, and animals no longer will be housed in the plain.
Pruett said the citation had to be done after the animal deaths, but he is sure the work on the creek and the infrastructure on it will alleviate flooding and keep the animals safe.
“USDA is taking no further action with regards to this incident,” Sacks said.
A donkey, turkey vulture and a snowy owl also were found drowned June 20 after a 10-inch rainfall flooded the zoo.