Dr. Jake Veasey said more than 160 animals were relocated Thursday night while several animals thought to be better prepared to handle the flooding, including the hippos, were left behind, the Calgary Herald reported Wednesday.
Veasey said the floodwaters, which reached as high as 13 feet in some areas, allowed the hippos to break out of their indoor pool and wander around the pedestrian area of the African Savannah area of the zoo.
"We could have had hippos god knows where. They could have been 20 or 30 miles downstream," Veasey said.
He said zookeepers moved concrete blocks into the area to keep the hippos from leaving the zoo.
Veasey said it will be at least two weeks until the zoo is ready to reopen.