Discovery Wildlife Park staff helped evacuate 12 lions and tigers when flood water threatened the Calgary Zoo in June.

Discovery Wildlife Park staff helped evacuate 12 lions and tigers when flood water threatened the Calgary Zoo in June.

Discover Wildlife Park roared to aid of Calgary Zoo

Discovery Wildlife Park staff helped evacuate 12 lions and tigers when flood water threatened the Calgary Zoo in June.

Discovery Wildlife Park staff helped evacuate 12 lions and tigers when flood water threatened the Calgary Zoo in June.

And the Innisfail park is not finished assisting its fellow zoo and animals.

Discovery is going to raise money for the flood-damaged zoo by donating all gate proceeds to its park on Saturday to the Calgary Zoo.

Calgary Zoo representatives will also be at Discovery on Saturday to talk to visitors about the destruction, estimated at $50 million.

Discovery Wildlife Park owner Doug Bos, said it was a privilege and an adventure to help the Calgary facility during the flood. Discovery received a call late on the afternoon of June 20 for assistance and animal crates.

“We got down there about 8 o’clock Thursday night and we started helping sedate the lions and tigers and loading them into crates and moving them up to their quarantine facility off the island. We had until 2 o’clock in the morning. That was the deadline everyone had to be off the island. We got the last cat off the island at 1:30 in the morning,” Bos said.

The cats weighed on average 180 kg (400 pounds) and eight people were needed to move each big cat on a stretchers in and out of crates.

“When we moved the last lion out of the lion house, the water was still 10 feet from the lion house door. It was rising about a foot an hour. It ended up there was probably four or five feet of water in the lion house after the flood ended.”

Discovery Wildlife Park was the only other zoo that helped Calgary with the big cats.

Since the flood, Discovery has also been honouring Calgary Zoo season ticket holders and hosted three school groups scheduled to visit the zoo.

“We’ve had over 700 show up so far. People like animals. They have to get their animal fix.”

Discovery Park will continue to accommodate people with Calgary Zoo passes until that zoo reopens, which is anticipated to be July 31.

On Saturday, the park will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with animal shows that include tigers at 11 a.m., bears at 1 and 4:30 p.m. and jaguars at 2:30 p.m.

For more information call 403-227-3211 or visit www.discoverywildlifepark.com.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com