Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

10 Animals Killed in Fire at Ohio Wildlife Park

Animals
A giraffe is seen running around the wildlife park searching for safety. Youtube screenshot

Ten animals perished in a fire Thursday at the African Safari Wildlife Park in northern Ohio, Danbury Township police said, as CNN reported.


Officer Carolyn DeMore of the Danbury Township Police said that when she arrived at the blaze yesterday evening, she found a zebra running loose and one of the barns engulfed by the fire, according to the Toledo Blade.

Demore told reporters that three giraffes, three red river hogs, three bongos and a springbok had been inside the barn before the fire and were killed. CNN explained that a bongo is a large forest antelope and the springbok is a medium-sized, gazelle-like antelope.

Holly Hunt, who owns African Safari Wildlife Park in Ottawa County along Lake Erie, confirmed DeMore's report, as NBC News reported. Hunt told CNN that there are 300 other animals in the park and they are all safe. The 100-acre wildlife park claims to be home to more than 50 different animal species including alpacas, zebras, warthogs, porcupines, tortoises, gibbons and a white alligator. The park offers walk and drive-thru safaris, as well as educational programs and hands-on activities, such as camel rides and animal feedings for rabbits, kangaroos and parakeets, according to the Toledo Blade.

The park was closed for Thanksgiving, so no people were injured. Hunt said that a caretaker first spotted the fire after a power flicker. The wildlife park lost power completely on Wednesday, according to to CNN.

Hunt added that a zebra that was housed in an overhang outside the barn was saved. A giraffe seen fleeing the fire on social media ran into a pond. From there animal keepers and doctors were able to direct it to safety, as NBC News reported.

"It's just gut-wrenching that this should happen," said Hunt, as NBC News reported. "Our team works so hard every day to care for these animals."

"We are grateful that our staff is safe and no one was injured, but the loss of the wildlife that we care for every day is tragic for our team members who love these animals," said park officials on a Facebook post, as the Toledo Blade reported. "The animals lost in this tragedy were part of our African Safari family, and the Park will be closed on Friday as we mourn their loss and care for the other animals living on the 100-area [sic] Park."

Firefighters contained the blaze on Thursday but expected to work through the night to extinguish it fully. The cause of the fire had not yet been determined, said Danbury Township Fire Chief Keith Kahler, as CNN reported. He added that the Ohio State Fire Marshall will arrive today to investigate and that firefighters found propane tanks stored inside the barn.

DeMore, who was one of the first responders on the scene, said she heard two explosions in the barn, which a firefighter suspected was the propane tanks exploding, according to NBC News.

"We are devastated by this loss of the animals we care for every day," said Hunt who appeared to choke back tears, according to NBC News. "The team is just devastated."

The park opened in 1969 and marked its 50th anniversary this year. Hunt has owned it since 1974.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pixabay

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

Unhealthy foods play a primary role in many people gaining weight and developing chronic health conditions, more now than ever before.

Read More Show Less
A man pushes his mother in a wheelchair down Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami on May 19, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. reported more than 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, in a sign that the outbreak is not letting up as the Fourth of July weekend kicks off.

Read More Show Less
To better understand how people influence the overall health of dolphins, Oklahoma State University's Unmanned Systems Research Institute is developing a drone to collect samples from the spray that comes from their blowholes. Ken Y. / CC by 2.0

By Jason Bruck

Human actions have taken a steep toll on whales and dolphins. Some studies estimate that small whale abundance, which includes dolphins, has fallen 87% since 1980 and thousands of whales die from rope entanglement annually. But humans also cause less obvious harm. Researchers have found changes in the stress levels, reproductive health and respiratory health of these animals, but this valuable data is extremely hard to collect.

Read More Show Less

Sunscreen pollution is accelerating the demise of coral reefs globally by causing permanent DNA damage to coral. gonzalo martinez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

On July 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a controversial bill prohibiting local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens.

Read More Show Less
Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks. jacqueline / CC by 2.0

By Kelli McGrane

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks.

Read More Show Less

"Emissions from pyrotechnic displays are composed of numerous organic compounds as well as metals," a new study reports. Nodar Chernishev / EyeEm / Getty Images

Fireworks have taken a lot of heat recently. In South Dakota, fire experts have said President Trump's plan to hold a fireworks show is dangerous and public health experts have criticized the lack of plans to enforce mask wearing or social distancing. Now, a new study shows that shooting off fireworks at home may expose you and your family to dangerous levels of lead, copper and other toxins.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Billions worth of valuable metals such as gold, silver and copper were dumped or burned last year as electronic waste produced globally jumped to a record 53.6 million tons. Curtis Palmer / CC by 2.0

By Ashutosh Pandey

Billions worth of valuable metals such as gold, silver and copper were dumped or burned last year as electronic waste produced globally jumped to a record 53.6 million tons (Mt), or 7.3 kilogram per person, a UN report showed on Thursday.

Read More Show Less