DANBURY TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Multiple animals were killed on Thanksgiving evening in a barn fire at an Ohio wildfire park, officials said.
According to the African Safari Wildlife Park’s official Facebook page, no staff were injured during the blaze that started Thursday evening, and the Port Clinton park was still assessing how many animals were killed in the fire.
The park features more than 50 species of animals during the summer.
“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 Facebook post said. “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.”
The company said in its Facebook post that the fire occurred in a barn used for overnight care and security for the animals. A cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
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Dispatchers from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office told the News Herald Thursday the fire was reported by citizens and that Danbury Township Fire Department, Port Clinton Fire Department and Catawba Fire provided mutual aid.
The park offers drive an drive-through tours with animals such as giraffes, elk, camels and zebras, as well as walk-through tours and educational feedings of animals such as porcupines, kangaroos, tortoises and gibbons.
In its 51st season, the safari park has rare creatures such as white bison and albino alligators.
The park is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
An estimated 150,000 people come to the 100-acre park annually, making it one of the largest attractions in the area, according to park officials.
African Safari Wildlife Park was scheduled to close for the season on Sunday.
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