Flooded by Ida, Middlesex County zoo is closing for good
PISCATAWAY — Middlesex County is closing its animal park that experienced significant flooding during the Ida rainfall event and other weather disasters in the past.
The process is underway to relocate all of the animals from Johnson Park Animal Haven. Middlesex County on Monday said a decision was made to close the animal haven "after careful consideration and comprehensive research," due to the increasing threat from severe weather.
"Due to Johnson Park's location within a flood plain and the real, undeniable threat of climate change, it is in the best interest of the animals to close the Johnson Park Animal Haven and rehome them in more resilient locations," the Board of County Commissioners said in a news release.
Animal welfare advocates have been voicing their concerns about the health and safety of animals at the zoo, which is located along the Raritan River. The facility flooded in early September when the remnants of Ida slammed New Jersey — photos later showed multiple animals standing in floodwaters.
When contacted by New Jersey 101.5 on Sept. 7, Middlesex County said it had "lost no animals" in the storm and that "all animals are safe."
According to the county, the Office of Parks and Recreation is conducting thorough research and following state and federal guidelines to relocate the animals to proper facilities.
Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.