Sea Lion Briefly Escapes Enclosure in Flooded Central Park Zoo

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A sea lion at New York City’s Central Park Zoom swam out of its pool enclosure on Friday, September 29, as the region experienced significant flooding, New York’s Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said.

The New York City Police Department posted video of a sea lion outside its enclosure in the floodwaters, beside the rock in the pool where another sea lion had climbed.

The department said claims circulating online that zoo animals had escaped were “misleading and inaccurate,” and that “all sea lions and animals are accounted for and safe” at the Central Park Zoo.

The WCS said, “A female sea lion at Central Park Zoo was able to swim out of her pool due to flooding of the plaza caused by severe rains in New York City today.”

“Zoo staff monitored the sea lion as she explored the area before returning to the familiar surroundings of the pool and the company of the other two sea lions,” the WCS added.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency for New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for most of the five boroughs, in effect until Friday evening. Nearly 8 inches of rain had been measured in Central Park by 6 pm on Friday, the NWS said. Credit: NYPD via Storyful