Large Sinkhole Discovered at Louisville Zoo (Media Release)

Emergency Services, Mitchell Burmeister
Media Cell: 502-565-7842

Direct: 502-238-5331  |  Media Only: 502-744-5639

Zoo and Mega Cavern to remain closed until engineers determine the area is safe

LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 7, 2019 – Zoo officials discovered a sinkhole in an undeveloped, unoccupied area of the Louisville Zoo Wednesday morning near the southwest corner inside the perimeter fencing. The affected area is estimated to be approximately 60 yards wide and 90 yards long. No people or Zoo animals were harmed. No Zoo exhibits or other structures were damaged.

Louisville Metro Emergency Services and Louisville Mega Cavern joined Zoo officials along with Geo-tech mining engineers and Louisville Fire personnel to investigate and evaluate.

The Zoo and Mega Cavern were closed to visitors Wednesday during the investigation.

An early assessment by engineers for the Mega Cavern found some debris near an isolated, unoccupied section of the cavern in the location of the sinkhole.  The team did not find any issues in the occupied portion of the cavern under the commercial districts and residential areas. Those areas are deemed safe.  The investigation will continue into in the unoccupied areas under the Zoo and above ground in the Zoo. All the fissures above ground have been marked and will be checked as well to see if they have expanded in any way.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Zoo and Louisville Mega Cavern (where the guest attractions are located) will remain closed today awaiting completion of the investigation. When the engineers determine the entire area to be safe to the Zoo and Mega Cavern will resume full operations. The Louisville Underground (commercial division) has been reopened as of this morning.

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