Despite Record-Breaking Flooding, Escaped Seal Steals Day

By Grace Muller, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
June 22, 2012; 5:51 PM ET
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The picture of the escaped Lake Superior Zoo seal was posted to Reddit by user Loudmouth_American.

The National Weather Service (NWS) says June 19 and June 20 was Duluth, Minnesota's wettest two-day period on record. Heavy rain from thunderstorms led to severe flooding Tuesday night across northern Minnesota, including in Duluth, where there was extensive damage from the floodwaters.

According to the NWS, more than 7 inches of rain fell over a large portion of north-central and northeastern Minnesota, with most of the rain falling in just a few hours' time, drawing comparisons to a historic flood in August 1972.

While the sheer extent of damage in the area was enough to get national media attention, a picture of an escaped seal from the Lake Superior Zoo posted to website Reddit went viral.

Brandon Stahl of the Duluth News Tribune reported that "zoo staff said three of its birds had drowned: a turkey vulture, a raven and a snowy owl. Of the barnyard animals, only a miniature horse survived, while six sheep, four goats and a donkey died."

In a statement from the Lake Superior Zoo:

"All zoo animals have been secured. Sadly, the zoo experienced the loss of several animals, among them many of the barnyard residents. Due to flooding, the zoo's polar bear Berlin was able to exit her exhibit. She was darted by the zoo's vet and is safe in quarantine. At no time did any dangerous animal leave the perimeter fence."

Como Park Zoo in St. Paul, Minn., will house the displaced animals from Lake Superior Zoo until employees can restore the park, KARE-TV reports.

Despite Record-Breaking Flooding, Escaped Seal Steals Day

Storified by Accu Weather · Thu, Jun 21 2012 10:12:26

Due to the flooding in Duluth, MN, several animals escaped the local Zoo. I ran into this guy late last night! : awwreddit: the front page of the internet
National Weather Service says Tuesday and Wednesday was the wettest two day period in Duluth history http://bit.ly/KMua5DKeith Marler
Lake Superior Zoo spokeswoman: 2 seals escaped zoo this morning in flood, they are now safe and secure... #duluthMPR News
Just weathered a devastating storm please pray us @TwitchyTeam here's a pic of escaped seal from Duluth MN zoo http://pic.twitter.com/m9GlQd3fUS NAVY SEABEE
Duluth Zoo EscapeBrightcove
Reporting live from the Lake Superior Zoo. 11 animals are confirmed dead. #duluthflood http://pic.twitter.com/NWOqRsdGLeAnn Wallace
Live with @StanfordWCCO at Como Zoo. Displaced polar bear & seals from the flooded Duluth Zoo will be arriving today. http://pic.twitter.com/flwPqFr4Joel Thurston
Under Water in DuluthBrightcove

Pictures from the flood damage in Duluth, Minn.

Another unthinkable Duluth picture. Looks like an earthquake hit.Seth_Kaplan
A reminder to drive with caution? Or not at all if you don't have to... #dhl #duluthflood http://pic.twitter.com/GNMq8rvgLeAnn Wallace
Funambulism train style. #duluthflood @duluthnews http://pic.twitter.com/C8K96Fc7Kayla Cresap
The water washes the ground away and left the tracks suspended! #igers#ighub#instagood#instamood#instagramers#love#igdaily#iphonesia#instagramhub#followme#photooftheday#instagram#instadaily#picoftheday#bestoftheday#webstagram#iphoneonly#follow#statigram#ignation#instahub#life#duluthflood#superiorwi#superior#superiorwi#disaster#traintracksBitzy Biskitz
The washed out bridge at barker's island. #duluthfloodcelenasardothen
Washout of Lester River culvert on Jean Duluth Rd N of Duluth this AM #duluthflood http://pic.twitter.com/kmh2a5fcAndrew Krueger
In Duluth, kayaks are more useful than cars. http://yfrog.com/odx78gWCCO

And, some fun, in spite of disaster:

Apparently, this is how you go to the ATM in Duluth, Minn., right now (per @Maddoxnelson) http://twitpic.com/9ywbc1Matt Vasilogambros
Duluth on @theCHIVE http://pic.twitter.com/6NyzYzI8Rachel Lokken

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