Record rainfall over the weekend has left Zoo Miami soaked, prompting zoo officials to close the park again Tuesday because of safety risks to people and animals alike.
"This is tremendously unusual," Zoo Miami's Ron Magill said. "I have never, in my 36 years at the zoo, ever seen anything even close to this type of rain at this time."
Zoo officials explained in a statement Monday that several public walkways are underwater, creating a safety hazard for guests.
Normally dry moats that surround hoofstock such as antelope have filled with water, posing a drowning risk for those animals.
In addition, high water levels create a "bridge" for potentially dangerous animals such as carnivores and primates, making it possible for them to swim across.
"We've got animals that are potentially dangerous that have an escape route created by this water rising," Magill said. "It's level where animals can swim across moats and get out things like our carnivores and our lions and our tigers and such."
Zoo Miami staff is working to bring down the water levels. The zoo will reopen once the waters recede.
For further information and to see when the park will reopen, visit ZooMiami.org.