10 animals were killed in a fire at the African Safari Wildlife Park in Ohio
Ten animals were killed when a fire broke out Thursday at the African Safari Wildlife Park in northern Ohio, Danbury Township police said.
Firefighters were called to the Port Clinton park at 6:15 p.m. after reports of a fire at a barn housing animals, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office and park officials said.
Three giraffes, three red river hogs, three bongos and a springbok had been inside the barn before the fire, Officer Carolyn DeMore with the Danbury Township Police told reporters. A bongo is a large forest antelope and the springbok is a medium-sized, gazelle-like antelope.
“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,” park officials said in a statement posted on Facebook.
A video recorded by a bystander shows two giraffes running away from the flames as smoke pours from the barn. DeMore said first responders found at least one giraffe at a nearby pond.
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.
“We are still assessing the loss of wildlife that was housed in the barn for over-night care and security,” the park said.
The park was closed for Thanksgiving. It will remain closed Friday as authorities investigate the incident and the staff mourns the loss.
African Safari Wildlife Park is located about 37 miles southeast of Toledo, Ohio.