NEW YORK, N.Y. (Oct. 14, 2023) --- The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn experienced extensive damage to its facilities and infrastructure during the extreme rain which hit New York City on Sept. 29. The zoo remains temporarily closed, and a re-opening date has not been identified. No animals were harmed or negatively affected by the flooding.

The storm, which deluged the Prospect Park Zoo with more than 7 inches of rain and run-off from surrounding streets, had major impact on boilers, HVAC, electrical, and aquatic life support and other systems which are located in building basements and sub-basements. These basements took on up to 25 feet of water at an unprecedented rate as storm sewers in the area reached full capacity. The zoo is currently operating with generators which provide all the power needs for the zoo. Temporary boilers will be employed to provide heat as necessary in the upcoming months.  

Throughout the flooding event, zoo staff were able to provide uninterrupted care for all the animals.

“There has been millions of dollars of damage to the Prospect Park Zoo,” said Craig Piper, Vice President of City Zoos for the Wildlife Conservation Society. “As we move from triage to restoration of the facilities, we will continue to assess when we will reopen to the public. We have pumped the water out of all flooded basements and restoration is fully underway. I want thank all our WCS colleagues from the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo and New York Aquarium for their assistance following the storm.

“Throughout New York City and elsewhere, we all are facing extreme weather conditions which are unprecedented. We plan to restore Prospect Park Zoo and its critical infrastructure in ways that will prevent future flooding of our facilities. Prospect Park Zoo suffered significant damage during storms Henri and Ida two years ago and we expect these extreme weather patterns will continue in the future due to climate change.”