The Australian Reptile Park has experienced the worst flooding in 15 years on Friday morning as torrential rain wreaked havoc on the NSW Central Coast, prompting zookeepers to relocate animals.
Just days after the team at the beloved reptile park were discussing bushfire action plans, the Somersby facility was inundated with a huge downpour.
Although the rain caused flash-flooding throughout the park, Reptile Park Director Tim Faulkner was far from complaining.
“This is incredible! Just last week, we were having daily meetings to discuss the imminent threat of bushfires, just 8km away from the Park here in Somersby,” Faulkner said.
“Going from drought and fire relief to flooding is all in a day’s work for our staff.”
The team at the iconic Central Coast tourist attraction quickly sprung into action on Friday morning to protect buildings from water damage and relocate animals to safety.
Footage shared to their Facebook page depicts the extent of the flooding, with Faulker wading through calf-deep water with two adorable koalas clinging to him for dear life.
“Today, we’ve had the whole team out there, drenched, acting fast to secure the safety of our animals and defend the Park from the onslaught of water.”
Zookeepers have also been forced to monitor the Alligator Lagoon as water levels rose above the fence line, which could allow the animals to escape. Footage shows zookeepers armed with brooms trying to prevent the snappy creatures from getting too close to the fence line.
Honestly, in 2020 I think alligators running rampant on the Central Coast is the least of Australia’s issues.
Unfortunately, the park had to close its doors to the public for the day as flooding blocked the entry. This is the first time the attraction has been forced to close its doors since the massive 2007 floods that saw the Pasha Bulker run ashore on Newcastle’s Nobby’s Beach.
Thankfully, Faulkner assures reptile enthusiasts that they will be free to return tomorrow for a glorious day at the park.
The unfortunate news of flash flooding comes after the park opened its doors to a number of animals injured in the ongoing bushfire crisis back in November, with the facility helping to care for and rehabilitate the creatures.