ZooAmerica, Pennsylvania Zoo, Cleared Of Wrongdoing In Bison Deaths

11/02/2011 10:57 am ET | Updated Jan 02, 2012

HERSHEY, Pa. -- Federal agriculture officials have cleared a Pennsylvania zoo of wrongdoing in the deaths of two bison during September's massive flooding.

The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reports Wednesday the USDA found ZooAmerica took appropriate steps in response to the rising water caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee.

One bison drowned and the other was shot by staff after a creek crested its banks and flooded their pens. Zoo officials said workers tried to reach the animals but the water rose too quickly.

The deaths of the bison, named Esther and Ryan, prompted an outcry from animal-rights activists.