ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
Severe damage from the Flood of 1994 forced Chehaw Park to close for 9 months. Fortunately most of the 175 animals at the zoo survived.
The petting zoo was the hardest hit because those animals couldn't swim. Zookeepers traveled around in a boat, unlocking exhibits to free animals and moving others to higher ground.
"The elephants were never in danger," said Natural Resources Manager Ben Kirkland. "Although the water was about waist deep in the elephant barn. Kathy Deal, one of the zookeepers at the time literally stayed in the barn with them 24 hours a day to keep the elephants calm and that's kind of the dedication the staff had."
Many destroyed buildings were rebuilt to better standards using money from FEMA and community donations