A female seal lion escaped from her enclosure at the Central Park Zoo briefly on Friday, swimming out of the pool where she is kept when the heavy rains lashing New York City flooded the zoo grounds.
Workers monitored the animal’s movements as she explored the area around the enclosure before rejoining the zoo’s other two sea lions in the pool, said Jim Breheny of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Zoos and Aquarium, which oversees the city’s aquarium and its four zoos.
By 3 p.m., the water at the zoo had receded, and all animals were contained in their enclosures, Mr. Breheny said. No staff members were in danger during the storm, and the city’s four zoos were closed so that employees could focus on keeping animals safe.
For Karen Dugan and her colleagues at the city’s parks department, the roving sea lion made for a rare sight from their third-floor offices in the agency’s headquarters at the Arsenal, a building inside the park that overlooks the zoo.
“When we got to the Arsenal, everything was pretty flooded,” she said. “We watched it explore around the enclosure and then go back in.”