NEW YORK (PIX11) — One New York City resident did not follow orders to stay home as a powerful coastal storm swept through the city. A sea lion from the Central Park Zoo briefly left its enclosure on Friday.

“A female sea lion at Central Park Zoo was able to swim out of her pool due to flooding of the plaza caused by severe rains in New York City today,” Jim Breheny, executive vice president of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s zoos and aquariums, said in a statement obtained by The New York Daily News.  

After waddling around for a bit, the sea lion was returned to its enclosure by zoo workers. However, that did not stop rumors on social media from swirling that the animal had escaped.  

“There are several videos circulating online about flooding and escaped zoo animals,” a social media post from the NYPD read. “These videos are misleading and inaccurate. All sea lions and animals are accounted for and safe.”  

The Central Park Zoo was closed on Friday due to the heavy rain and flooding

Matthew Euzarraga is a multimedia journalist from El Paso, Texas. He has covered local news and LGBTQIA topics in the New York City Metro area since 2021. He joined the PIX11 Digital team in 2023. You can see more of his work here.