Following a Thursday afternoon fire at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, the zoo has posted an update on the aftermath of the blaze to its Zoo Blog and Twitter @Woodlandparkzoo. The fire is reported to have started in the Night Exhibit, which closed in 2010 but was hoping to make a 2018 re-opening due to popular demand.
Although the exhibit had been closed, the zoo reports that 6 turtles, two Black-Brested Leaf turtles and four Indochinese Box Turtles, were being kept in the basement of the building at the time the fire occurred and were presumed lost in the fire although the area was still unaccessible as of Friday’s zoo update. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the Indochinese Box Turtle is listed as critically endangered, while , the Black-Brested Leaf Turtle is at endangered species status.
The basement appeared to have been the source of the fire although Seattle fire (@seattlefire) was not able to provide an exact cause due to collapse of the surrounding structure. The Seattle Fire blog reports an estimated $1.5 million in damages. Two fire fighters were injured, however later treated and released from Harborview Medical Center. No doubt, this tragedy will significantly impact the Zoo’s plans to open a new Night Exhibit, with fundraising having started earlier this year. You can help the zoo by visiting the Zoo’s donation page and continuing your patronage as the Zoo continues to remain open under regular hours.
To read more on the valiant efforts of the fire fighters and the impressive feats of zoo workers, read more on Woodland Park’s Zoo Blog.