Miami-Dade County

Zoo Miami closes for the day because of bad weather

In this 2015 file photo, an elephant’s usually dry moat is full of water after Zoo Miami shut down due to major flooding.
In this 2015 file photo, an elephant’s usually dry moat is full of water after Zoo Miami shut down due to major flooding. pfarrell@miamiherald.com

Zoo Miami announced it will stop admitting new guests for the rest of the day Wednesday after heavy rains and thunderstorms pummeled the region with record-breaking amounts of rain.

About 50 guests who were already at the zoo were allowed to remain there for the rest of the day, the zoo said. It expects to reopen Thursday.

The decision to close the doors to new guests was done in part to allow the 700-acre park to let go of non-essential personnel admitting people at the front, said marketing director Cindy Castelblanco.

The inclement weather also “doesn’t make for the best zoo experience” at the outdoor venue, she added.

None of the animals were endangered by the rain, though Castelblanco noted that some of the zoo’s 3,000 inhabitants, including its orangutans, were less than enthused by the stormy weather.

Though the zoo has partially closed for similar rain days as recently as last Saturday, the zoo last closed completely for weather reasons in 2015, when heavy rains flooded its walkways and major exhibits and shut down the major tourist attraction for the better part of a week.

Castelblanco said that the zoo may limit guests again on other days this week or next, depending on the forecast. Storms and showers are expected to persist into the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

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