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N. Dakota flooding sends zoo animals to Wichita's Tanganyika

A female lion plays with her tale. Due to the flooding, Wichita's Tanganyika Wildlife Park is hosting animals from the Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot, N.D.
A female lion plays with her tale. Due to the flooding, Wichita's Tanganyika Wildlife Park is hosting animals from the Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot, N.D. Jaime Green/The Wichita Eagle

As a female lion sat in a pool at Tanganyika Wildlife Park on Thursday, she splashed and chased her tail in a circle.

"Pretty girl, what are you doing? Playing in the water?" asked park owner Jim Fouts.

The lion arrived at Tanganyika in the first week of June with a group of animals from the Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot, N.D. The Souris River flows through the zoo, and officials feared the water would come over the dike.

Three weeks later, Fouts said it doesn't look like the animals are going home anytime soon. Water flooded over the levees Wednesday as thousands of people evacuated their homes.

When the animals arrived, Fouts said zoo officials were hoping the visit would only last four to six weeks in a best-case scenario.

"As it stands now, they're pretty much thinking that their season is gone," Fouts said. "You know it's going to be well into the fall before they're cleaned up."

When Fouts received the panicked call from zoo officials who thought they had 12 to 18 hours before the river flooded, he said the park wanted to do what it could to help the animals and the zoo.

"They needed to find someone who could get there and especially move the giraffes because that's a difficult thing to do," Fouts said.

Read the complete story at kansas.com

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