Large fire at zoo leaves 1 animal dead

A large fire at Metro Richmond Zoo has left one animal dead and part of the zoo damaged.
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 6:09 AM CDT
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MOSELEY, Va. (WWBT/Gray News) - Chesterfield Fire and EMS crews responded to a fire at Metro Richmond Zoo after reports of several buildings engulfed in flames.

Fire crews received the call at approximately 9:50 p.m. on Sunday.

Crews arrived on the scene to find several buildings on fire, including several maintenance buildings and a veterinary clinic. Chesterfield Fire was notified about animals that may have been lost within those buildings.

Fire crews and zoo employees worked quickly to remove the animals from the buildings. All zoo employees are safe.

According to a statement from the Metro Richmond Zoo, the fire began in the zoo’s workshop area and spread to the animal hospital, feed storage room and zoo keeper service area, leaving the buildings completely destroyed.

There were 10 animals in the buildings at the time of the fire, and nine were rescued. A meerkat who was receiving care at the animal hospital has died. Zoo officials say a necropsy will be performed.

In addition to building damage, there was one animal enclosure fence destroyed, and a temporary fence has been installed. All of the animals inside the enclosure have been accounted for, and there are no others in danger.

“We are immensely grateful for the first responders who came to the zoo’s aid,” the zoo said in a statement.

The zoo will be open regular hours on Monday.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.