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When Thousands Were Forced To Evacuate, These Furry Friends Were Left Behind

FEBRUARY 16, 2017  —  By Corinne Sanders

On February 12, nearly 200,000 Californians were forced to leave their homes when damage to the Oroville Dam emergency spillway put it at risk of collapsing.

The dam was built to drain water from Oroville Lake, but erosion led to a massive hole not only in its main spillway, but in its emergency spillway as well. The emergency spillway hadn't needed to be used in almost 50 years.

Authorities had to utilize the emergency spillway after recent heavy storms began filling up the lake, but within a day, they discovered that the spillway could send a 30-foot wall of water into the towns below.

Unfortunately, many pets were left behind when people fled their homes, including a number of exotic animals. "There really wasn't enough time. Loading those animals would have taken longer than people thought they had to survive," the California Highway Patrol (CHP) said.

Luckily for the furry and feathered critters, a few CHP officers found them while checking abandoned properties.

The officers were surprised, however, when they came across some pretty unusual pets, such as Mary, a Muntjac deer, and even zebras.

They also found an albino kangaroo named Kenzie and a red kangaroo named Dottie.

"We never know what we'll discover out here. We hope life gets back to normal here real soon and that the owners are able to return to their properties," they said.

After helicopters dropped boulders and rocks to fill the emergency spillway's hole, people were allowed to return to their homes on Valentine's Day.

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As for the animals, CHP said, "Those abandoned furry friends we found were rescued by a kind stranger in Sutter who has lots of property to keep them on." They'll be back with their rightful owners soon, if they aren't already.

Read More: Canadian Airlines Are Breaking The Rules To Fly Pets And Their Families To Safety

"We are thankful for the random acts of kindness we find out in the community. Everyone seems to be coming together to take care of each other," they added.

(via Daily Mail and The Washington Post)

Officials are still working on the dam and doing their best to lower the lake's water level to prepare for upcoming rain. Be sure to share this story if you're happy that compassionate people were there to help the animals left behind.

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