Seal escapes Lake Superior Zoo after flood, starts tweeting

Jordan Chittley
Daily Buzz

The picture captured by Ellie Burcar has taken on a life of its own on Twitter

Heavy rains pounding northern Minnesota caused mudslides, sinkholes, the evacuation of dozens of homes and several animals died after a zoo was swamped.

"It's pretty devastating," said Kara Gilbert, an office support specialist who was answering telephones at the zoo, to Reuters. "We can all look out and see half of the zoo under water."

But among the survivors was one little guy who has quickly garnered quite the social media following.

Riverside resident Ellie Burcar was driving home from a friend's house Wednesday morning when she spotted what she thought was a dog on the road.

"When I got closer, I couldn't believe it: It was a seal," she said to Inforum. "It was a perfect shot. Right after he turned his head."

Burcar and another person used their cars to prevent traffic from hitting the seal. They then corralled it to a small puddle and waited for police to arrive and take it back to a zoo.

"When we got it into the water, it was splashing around on the side of the road," Burcar said to Inforum. "It was amazing."

Burcar and another friend posted their photos on Facebook before someone else forwarded it to the Duluth News Tribune.

The paper posted it writing, "The Polar Shores exhibit, which housed the seals and a polar bear, has been completely flooded out...At one point the seal swam out of its exhibit and was found on Grand Avenue."

The polar bear was found after it exited the cage and tranquilized by the zoo's vet and quarantined.

While Feisty was on the lam, it started tweeting its thoughts and feelings.

"Freedom," it tweeted first. "What's there to do in this town?"

Feisty was soon picked up and taken to a zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota. "They found me...I'm back inside now, but they're giving me fish, so I'm pretty ok with that."

A short time later the polar bear also appeared on Twitter writing, "What do you call a Polar Bear that leaves the zoo? 'Bye Polar'."

And the two appear to be tight.

"A tip for my seal friend, next time...better Disguises," writes the Polar Bear.

Feisty and the Polar Bear aren't the first fugitives to tweet. A peacock fled New York's Central Park Zoo in August and tweeted about all of its adventures in the city. The Bronx Zoo Cobra did the same.

While the flooding turned roads into rivers and forced a state of emergency, there were no deaths or serious injuries were reported as a result of the flooding.

(Photo from the Duluth News Tribune on Twitter)