DULUTH, Minn. -- Officials at the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth say they will reopen in about a week, but animal exhibits remain closed indefinitely as the zoo continues to clean up after major flooding last month.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar also toured the zoo on Friday, saying that while the its recent troubles captured the hearts of people around the world, the flood damage extended far beyond its walls.
"This was about people who have lost their livelihoods," she says, "or roads destroyed, [a] very difficult time for the people of Duluth and the surrounding areas, places like Moose Lake, and Carlton, and Barnum and Proctor."
The zoo made national news just over two weeks ago when flooding killed 11 barnyard animals and allowed two seals to escape. A polar bear swam outside of its exhibit and had to be tranquilized.
The bear and seals are now housed at the Como Park Zoo in St. Paul. The exhibit suffered major damage, and Lake Superior Zoo CEO Sam Maida says it's still unclear when or if the exhibit will reopen.
"Until the analysis is done, the assessments are done and the engineering is done, we really don't know the extent of the damages there," Maida says. "So then after that decisions will get made."
Klobuchar praised the efforts of 350 volunteers who helped clear mud and remove trees left behind by the flood.
Maida says it's still not known how much it will cost to repair damage to the zoo, but he hopes FEMA will cover some of it.