flood update

A Message from the Zoo Director

Dear Happy Hollow Fans,

In my over 30 years working at Happy Hollow Zoo, I’ve never seen the level of damage in our Zoo as I saw with this last month’s flood. At the same time, I have never seen such an outpouring of love and support for the Zoo.

I want to reassure everyone that during the flood, all of the animals were safe and sound in the “Zoo on the Hill”. We have started to return some animals to the “Zoo in the Hollow” and are well on our way in the clean up efforts to get the exhibits and support areas back into shape. The most damage was to the enrichment barn (which houses all the “toys” for the animals), staff break room, animal food preparation room, public restrooms, apiary and parrot barn. I wish I could give everyone an exact date on which we will fully reopen, but there is still discovery work to be done to assess the damage and clean up work will continue. The “Zoo in the Hollow” will reopen when it is safe for both animals and guests.

We have had a tremendous outpouring of support as evidenced by the hundreds of people that came out to participate in the volunteer clean up days and the many more who have made much needed cash donations so we can begin to replace our damaged equipment.  Among the many that have donated, and at the risk of missing someone, I would like to acknowledge some standouts:

• Orchard Supply Hardware for the cleaning supplies and outfitting the volunteers with protective gear.

•The Santa Clara Valley Beekeepers Guild who lent their time and expertise in helping resident Beekeeper, Steve Demkowski, restore the Happy Hollow apiary.

• Jimm & Rhonda Vosburgh of West Valley Construction for their help getting the Dino Dig back in shape.

• And of course, the Happy Hollow Foundation for their ongoing long term support.  

Despite all of your efforts in the past month, we are not out of the woods yet. We need your ongoing support to fully restore our beloved “Zoo in the Hollow”. Your donations allow us the flexibility to implement repairs quickly and get things back to normal for our animal ambassadors. 
Click here to Donate Online Today
Or mail your check to: Happy Hollow Foundation, 1300 Senter Road, San Jose CA  9511

Your love and support has been felt and appreciated by all the staff and the critters, it has kept us going.

Valerie Riegel, Zoo Director
Happy Hollow Zoo



Many thanks for your continued concern on the status of Happy Hollow after the floods of last week. A quick update to let you all know that the animals are all safe. 
None of the animals had to be "rescued from the flood". Preparation began on Sunday, before flood waters rose to move animals out of the lower zoo and into the higher elevation of the Zoo on the Hill, as a precautionary measure. Friday, February 24 was the first time we were able to get into the lower zoo and assess the damage and begin clean up efforts. Some of the exhibits in the lowest areas of the zoo were fully under water and it will take time to make them safe for the animals. 

Happy Hollow Staff and volunteers were amazing in their response, creativity and team work. Staff made very creative use of holding spaces for all animals that needed to be moved, as you can see in the photo below, the meerkats are warm and comfortable in the restroom of Doc's Critter Care, the Zoo Vet clinic – and taking advantage of the height of the toilet as their sentinel post! 

The Meerkat Mob having fun in their temporary home. 

Ulysses the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo sharing space in the Vet Clinic. 

Ducks and Stilts next to Ring Tailed Lemurs - comfortable and safe. 

There are a number of unanticipated and out of the ordinary expenses associated with moving and housing the animals in temporary shelter on site. Thank you to Happy Hollow supporters who have made total contributions in excess of $10,000 for our short term temp housing needs.  Wonderful! We are putting your funds to direct use for all the things that make the animals comfortable in their temporary housing. Your donation makes a difference! Sometimes expenses are as unsexy as an industrial grade power washer to get flood contaminants out.  Sometimes they’re more fun, like enrichment items.   Either way, running a zoo is not for the squeamish and we appreciate your continued support so our keepers can get what they need without having to worry.  At this time, cash gifts are best and offer the most flexibility and timeliness for animal well being. 
Click here to Donate Online Today! Or mail your check to: Happy Hollow Foundation, 1300 Senter Road, San Jose CA  95112

Happy Hollow will partially re-open this Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Zoo on Hill (the upper zoo area) and the rides area will be open for guests. 
The Zoo in the Hollow (lower zoo area) will remain closed until all cleanup has taken place. We will be offering a reduced admission of $9.25 per person as well as $6 parking fee.
Kelley Park & the Japanese Friendship Garden will remain closed until further notice – click here for updates on Kelley Park.
History San Jose is openClick here for times and information.  


Zoo Update:

Many of you have been asking how we faired through this historic flood event. Thanks to the quick thinking of our Zoo Director Valerie Riegel, Happy Hollow Park & Zoo began flood preparations on Sunday- well in advance of Monday's rain and Tuesday's flood. In accordance with our flood plan, we successfully moved all our animals to safety. Because of the severity of the flood, we plan to open Wednesday, March 1st.

Thanks to all staff and volunteers for your efforts! We'd also like to thank you, the public, for your continued support, calls and emails. We expect a number of unanticipated and out of the ordinary expenses associated with moving and housing the animals in temporary shelter on site.  Please support the animals and keepers with your donation today.  At this time, cash gifts are best and offer the most flexibility and timeliness for animal well being. Donate Today! 
If you're capable to donate any of the above items, please give us a call at 408-794-6431

 Association of Zoos and Aquariums Happy Hollow FoundationSpecies Survival Plan