There’s a rumor going around Twitter this evening that the Turtleback Zoo’s animals have escaped and are running all around Essex County. It started on Twitter during flooding from Ida in Montclair and the surrounding areas and has gained some traction around the internet at the moment. But, just so you know — it’s a rumor.
On September 2nd, Essex County Executive, Joseph D. DiVincenzo tweeted confirmation that animals from the zoo had in fact not escaped, stating:
— Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. (@Joe_D_EssexExec) September 2, 2021
It all started with this tweet that went viral…
New Jersey is off the rails, Imagine running into a gorilla pic.twitter.com/iR3KHlj2eq
— Erik (@yuuuzey) September 2, 2021
The tweet stated, “ANIMALS FROM TURTLE BACK ZOO (WEST ORANGE 07052) ARE FLEEING THE ZOO PREMISES. ANIMALS LISTED: PENGUINS, LIONS, BEARS, OTTERS, GORILLAS, AND REPTILES. ANY EXOTIC ANIMALS SEEN PLEASE CALL LOCAL ANIMAL CONTROL SERVICES IMMEDIATELY SO WE CAN RETURN ANIMALS BACK TO THE ZOO SAFELY.”
This was sent at a seemingly peak time of flooding, at 11:05PM — with an “NJ34777” alert number next to it. But as this was tweeted and reshared thousands of times, it started to unravel.
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First things first: There are no animals escaping from the Turtleback Zoo in West Orange, according to West Orange police. We confirmed with them at 12:30AM on 9/2 via phone.
However, the tweets escaping are pretty funny. Here are a few of our favorites.
With animals fleeing the Turtle Back Zoo tonight, Im going to wake up to this in my backyard tomorrow morning pic.twitter.com/rVJbU1h76g
— Ryan🤌🏽 (@hischierforprez) September 2, 2021
Turtle back zoo said : pic.twitter.com/ZFF5e9sd6J
— $HAUD (@iamshaud90) September 2, 2021
Why did a giraffe just come campaigning for my town council please control this
— Groos (@mynamegroos) September 2, 2021
YEOOO TURTLEBACK ZOO REALLY IN THE STREETS NOW.
— javidXO (@javiddjokic) September 2, 2021
“let’s see ya’ll tease us now” pic.twitter.com/Oh3C64mCUl
— ♠ ꜰʀᴀɴᴋɪᴇ ♠ (@FrankiesTwoLoud) September 2, 2021
Can the escaped Turtle Back Zoo alligator be our team pet @NJDevils
— lauren (@njdlauren) September 2, 2021
Proving that even during a serious crisis, people are pretty damn funny on the internet.
Please be safe all, and stay indoors!