10 animals killed in fire in African Safari Wildlife Park

Cheryl Sanders
December 1, 2019

A blaze broke out at the African Safari Wildlife Park in OH on Thursday, Danbury Township police said.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums were also contacted by the park staff on the night of November 28, and Rob Vernon, the spokesperson for the AZA said that no other animals were affected by the fire, according Toledo Blade. After reports of a fire in a barn that housed animals, the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office and park officials said: Three giraffes, three red river pigs, three bongos and a springbok had been inside the barn before fire, officer Carolyn DeMore with Danbury Township Police told reporters.

Firefighters battled through Thanksgiving evening to extinguish the fire and it was mostly contained, but Ramos said firefighters would return on Friday to continue extinguishing the remaining flames.

Hunt said that a caretaker initially spotted the fire on Thursday after a power flicker on the property.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Firefighters from Danbury Township, Catawba Island and Port Clinton all responded to the blaze, according to authorities. In a Facebook post (below), the park announced that it would be closed Friday.

"Our African Safari Wildlife Park team is devastated by the loss of animals housed in a barn destroyed by fire that was discovered early Thanksgiving evening", the statement read. Park staff freed a zebra in a habitat attached to the burning barn and another zebra and a giraffe in a nearby barn, fearing that the fire would spread to another barn, the African Safari Wildlife Park said in a Facebook post. A zebra that was also in the barn was able to escape.

Animals at the park were usually kept in a heated barn overnight during winter months under supervision. The Ohio state fire chief will arrive at the park on Friday to investigate the fire, Kahler said. Ramos said the explosions likely were caused by propane tanks stored in the barn.

Visitors to the 100-acre drive-thru park can feed several animals on their drive, including giraffes, zebras and bison, according to the park's website.

The zoo was closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Other reports by iNewsToday