Fire at Ohio wildlife park leaves 10 animals dead on Thanksgiving night

By Caitlin O'Kane

/ CBS News

Ohio fire kills 10+ animals at safari park

A devastating fire at an Ohio wildlife park broke out on Thanksgiving night, leaving at least 10 animals dead. The African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, Ohio, said the fire destroyed a barn where the animals were housed.

Three giraffes, three hogs and four antelopes were lost in the blaze, CBS affiliate WTOL-TV reports.

"Oh, we are devastated," park owner Holly Hunt told the station. "Our team, they work so hard to care for these animals. It's just gut-wrenching that this could happen. Our team works so hard every day to care for these animals. It's just heartbreaking."

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It was unclear what started the fire. Hunt said the general manager of the 50-year-old park near Lake Erie saw the fire after noticing problems with his electricity, according to WTOL.

A barn burns at an Ohio wildlife park November 28, 2019.
A barn burns at an Ohio wildlife park November 28, 2019. Mary Christiansen Kennedy

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire, African Safari Wildlife Park wrote in a Facebook post. The 100-acre park will be closed on Friday as staff members mourn the loss and care for the other 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," the park wrote in its post. "We are still assessing the loss of wildlife that was housed in the barn for over-night care and security."

Our African Safari Wildlife Park team is devastated by the loss of animals housed in a barn destroyed by fire that was…

Posted by African Safari Wildlife Park on Thursday, November 28, 2019

First published on November 29, 2019 / 9:17 AM

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