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PETA demands Duluth zoo be prosecuted for animal flood deaths

The animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth was negligent in allowing 13 or 14 animals to die during the flood Wednesday. PETA called on Duluth City Attorney Gunnar Johnson to bring cruelty charges against the zoo.
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The animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth was negligent in allowing 13 or 14 animals to die during the flood Wednesday. PETA called on Duluth City Attorney Gunnar Johnson to bring cruelty charges against the zoo.

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Torrential rain caused major flooding in Duluth Wednesday. A state of emergency was declared. Police told residents to stay home. At least one neighborhood was evacuated and roads and highways were closed, including Interstate 35 at several points. The Lake Superior Zoo was badly flooded and a number of animals drowned.

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A number of animals died in the flooding in northeast Minnesota, including some at the Lake Superior Zoo. But there were also some inspiring saves.

Animal deaths shine light on security at Duluth Zoo

When the zoo was reaccredited in 2011, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums criticized the zoo’s security and said it “had a naïve approach to safety.” At the time of the flood, there was not a security guard on the grounds. However, even if someone had been there the night of the flood, zoo officials told the Duluth News Tribune that it’s no guarantee that six sheep, four goats, a donkey, a turkey vulture and a snowy owl that were found drowned could have been saved.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture officials on Aug. 28 cited the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth for inadequate shelter for its farm animals, and the zoo has already taken action to satisfy the USDA’s requirements, the Duluth News Tribune reports. Six sheep and four goats died at the zoo in June flooding.

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Everybody's pitching in to get flood-damaged Duluth back on its feet, including the city's younger residents. KAAL-TV reports that some local kids have set up a stand to sell lemonade and Rice Krispie treats at 50 cents a piece, and so far they've raised $50. The Lake Superior Zoo lost several animals in the recent flooding.

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