Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Flooding Claims Lives of Two Bison at Zoo

Written by PETA | September 20, 2011

It’s hard to imagine a more terrifying way to die than being trapped in a cage as flood waters rise around you. Yet that was the fate of Ryan and Esther, two bison at Pennsylvania’s ZooAmerica who died when they were left to fend for themselves after torrential rains flooded the zoo. “The two bison that were in the enclosure, their heads were barely above water and they were panicking,” describes a witness.

Even though local officials had issued warnings about the coming flood, Ryan and Esther were simply moved to “higher” ground. Esther drowned, and Ryan was shot to death when it became clear that rescue was impossible.

Please join PETA in asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct a formal investigation into Ryan’s and Esther’s deaths.


Written by Jennifer O’Connor

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  • Emma J says:

    I understand that this was the wrong way to handle things but this was a zoo which means they’d have, potentionally, hundreds of other animals to get to safety. It isn’t like they left all the animals to die. Also being shot is a better way to die then slowly by drowning. So i think the reasoning is justified.

  • Brad says:

    Jail the shooter for aslong as Ryan’s life expectancy should have been, had he survived.

  • Brad says:

    Whoever shot and killed that magnificient beast, needs to serve serious jail time. There is no open or closed hunting season on bison in PA. What were they thinking? And who is to say if it was drowning or not. His state was unknown, Bison don’t communicate, he very well could have lived. Male mammals tend to be stronger than female mammals. That shooter needs see the inside of a jailcell for recklessly discharging a firearm into murky waters, in which rocks and other richochetting material lay hidden. If the Game Commission does nothing to this gun carrier’s permit to carry, I’d be insulted as a law abiding Pennsylvanian and hunter.

  • melissam says:

    This not some kind of accident or incedent these aniamals were basically murdered.

  • BODINE says:

    This is disgusting, how can these people who are responsible for these poor creatures leave them like that.. they def. need to be dealt with…. people seem to disappoint me more and more each day , its so sad :(

  • yolibeth says:

    this is just horrible!!!!

  • Brittany says:

    That’s horrible. If they had enough warning, they should’ve gotten the animals all out instead of killing them. When it comes down to it, animals are living beings too so they have a right to be saved just like everyone else. I agree there should be an investigation into the poor animals death

  • Cid says:

    I have written AZA (association of Zoos and Aquariums) to pull it’s accredidation from Zoo Amertica at Hershey Park. They had days to plan for the evacuation. Consequently, they should have had an acceptable evacuation plan to get accredited because the area is in a flood plain. No excuses. I heard that the caretakers wanted to take Esther and Ryan somewhere else but management would not allow them to do so. May Management and their descendants suffer the same fate as they have perpetrated against these innocent creatures!

  • Lisa says:

    Absolutely disgusting the Zoo should be accountable for their deaths i read that the Zoo were given 2 days notice of the flooding but left those poor anmals to die and watching the video of these poor animals drowning is heartbreaking, and then you see a Zookeeper trying to get them out, too late too soon, they are not fit to be allowed to look after animals. Would you leave your animals after having plenty of warning to leave them to drown to death????

  • Irene Leggett says:

    Once again, its the animals that pay the ultimate price with their lives when humans fail to carry out their duties of protection. Shame on the zoo for not carrying out their principle duty, looking after the animals in their care. They’re just as bad as Petco that left all their animals to drown!!!

  • benita soni says:

    A Zoo has a responsibility to its animals that keep the employees employed and the zoo profitable. Be a humane human. Sometimes I do not know where the term “humane” came from. It certainly is not from humans who do this.