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Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo sustains storm damage

On Monday, January 2, 2017, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo was hit by a severe thunderstorm and sustained substantial damage. The tornado-like winds and torrential rains blew down a portion of the zoo’s perimeter wall, uprooted trees and snapped limbs, crushed fences, damaged animal habitats and cages, and flooded the zoo grounds.

Zoo staff was on the premises during the storm and was able to react quickly to determine the well-being of the animals, and the level of destruction to the zoo. Many birdcages were toppled over and displaced, but the only animal injured was a military macaw that sustained a broken wing. Immediate action was also taken to temporarily patch a section of perimeter fence and to make sure the animals were safe and secure from any other damage. Further evaluation of the zoo property and assessment of animals continued this morning.

“We are thankful for the outpouring of support from the community and long distance friends of the zoo. The zoo staff and volunteers are tirelessly working to repair the zoo in the upcoming days,” said Patti Hall, Director Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. “We were blessed that our major structures are still standing, like the gift shop, reptile house, administration building, feed house and nursery.”

However, many areas of the zoo are in need of repair and those efforts are now underway: a section of perimeter fence needs replacement, removal of fallen trees, clearing of debris and repair to habitats, restoration of interior fencing and walkways, overall clean-up of the grounds.

“It looks like it will take us a week before we can reopen to the public,” said Hall.

If you would like to help the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo with recovery efforts, please make a monetary donation at www.alabamagulfcoastzoo.com/help or make checks payable to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Gift cards from home improvement or hardware stores: Home Depot, Lowes, Paris Ace Hardware, Gulf Shores Builders Supply, Swift Supply, would also be appreciated.

Visit the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo’s Facebook page for up to date information: www.Facebook.com/AlabamaGulfCoastZoo

The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is operated by a non-for-profit corporation, Zoo Foundation, Inc., based in Gulf Shores, Ala. which helps preserve wildlife as well as educates the public about various and diverse species. The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is home to more than 500 exotic animals including lions, tigers, bears, macaws, reptiles, and more! It also features a petting zoo, seasonal animal encounters, and interactive animals shows during the spring and summer months. www.alabamagulfcoastzoo.org