MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — Cleanup efforts are underway at the Madeira Beach wildlife center where dozens of animals died in a fire last month.
Flames destroyed a portion of the Alligator and Wildlife Discovery Center in July. “The temperature in there reached some heights between 1500 and 2000 degrees,” said owner Sonny Flynn. “To have any survivors is absolutely amazing.”
Teams are rehabbing the 130 surviving animals. Some of the survivors — birds, reptiles and alligators — are housed in a former bank building in Madeira Beach.
Flynn is working on plans to “build back better.”
“We’re going to redesign it and reconfigure it to get 130 of our animals back to us and then get our public back to us and have more events and more community involvement which we’re all about,” she said.
Inside the center, volunteers are clearing debris. Their goal is to have a portion of the center open to guests by Thanksgiving.
According to Flynn, community support is giving her hope. “Not everyone can donate but the words of kindness are huge and how much we meant to people and their family. That’s huge,” she said.
Flynn said the center is in need of upright cages as they work to get all 130 animals together under one roof. Other needed supplies can be found online.
Volunteers who would like to participate in the cleanup efforts and individuals who would like to donate financially should email firstname.lastname@example.org