PORT CLINTON, Ohio (WJW) — Multiple animals are dead after a fire broke out at an animal park in northwest Ohio.
According to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, the fire broke out at a barn that houses animals. Three area fire departments responded to the blaze. Authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze.
According to WJW, Three bongo, three giraffes, three red river hogs and one springbok lost their lives. A zebra managed to escape the blaze.
Investigators say they are still working to determine the cause of the fire, however, the barn is a total loss.
The safari park took to Facebook saying they are still assessing the loss of wildlife that was housed in the barn for over-night care and security.
In a statement posted to Facebook, officials said the park would be closed Friday as they mourn their loss and care for other animals living on the 100-acre park.
“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. 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.
We are still assessing the loss of wildlife that was housed in the barn for over-night care and security.
Park staff members are on the scene with firefighters and official responders. An investigation is underway into the cause of the fire.
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 Park.
We deeply appreciate the first responders who worked on the holiday to try and save animals affected by the fire and thank the community for its support during this very difficult time.
Again, we are grateful that our staff are safe, although we are all grief-stricken over this loss.”