Bay Area animal rescue and zoo needs help as they recover from severe storm damage

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
Bay Area zoo needs help to recover from severe storm damage
CuriOdyssey, a San Mateo animal rescue and zoo is still cleaning up after being battered by the recent storms and is asking for the community's help.

SAN MATEO, Calif. (KGO) -- At CuriOdyssey in San Mateo, animal welfare is in their blood.

The science museum and zoo has been around for almost 70 years, caring for rescued animals that can't survive in the wild.

But after a series of storms battered the museum's Coyote Point campus this winter, that job has become a lot more difficult.

"I think we've had more than 100 trees go down. One of those trees actually took out the transformer," said Aragon Burlingham, CuriOdyssey's Executive Director.

CuriOdyssey has been out of power since March 14, and has had to install and rely on generators to be able to care for their animals.

MORE: Oakland Zoo reopens after 40-ft sinkhole caused by winter storms forces 35-day closure

A necessity that's come at a big price.

"If you add fuel and delivery and rental and everything else, it's in excess of $50,000 a month," Burlingham said.

The powerful storms also destroyed animals' habitats, obscured walkways and made it dangerous for staff and visitors to be at CuriOdyssey.

While the cleanup effort has been ongoing, the damage has made it harder for staff to do their jobs.

Everything from regulating the body temperatures of some animals to filtering the water of others.

"Even in the very worst of circumstances, the animal care and welfare is always a top priority for us," said Nikii Finch-Morales, the museum's director of wildlife.

VIDEO: South Bay wildlife center details rehabilitation efforts for animals injured during Bay Area storms

The Bay Area's wildlife is yet another victim of recent atmospheric rivers, Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley is working to rehabilitate some of them.

And while they hope to reopen to the public in June, in the meantime, they say the outpouring of support from the community has been invaluable.

That's why the CuriOdyssey staff is thanking everyone, including the county and other local zoos who have offered a helping hand during this difficult time.

"It's really heartwarming to know that we're not really out here alone on an island if we have such a strong community behind us," Finch-Morales said.

CuriOdyssey is accepting donations from the public.

If you would like to contribute, visit their website here.

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