RISING SUN, Md. (WJZ) — A zoo in Cecil County is trying to pick up the pieces after one of their buildings caught fire over the weekend, killing six animals.
Two snakes and four birds died in the fire at the Plumpton Park Zoo Saturday morning, but zookeepers were able to save the other eight animals in the building, including an alligator, pixie frog, tarantula, tortoises and snakes. Two of the animals — Fluffy the ball python and Jule the blue and gold macaw — were animal ambassadors.
The goal now is to rebuild.
“There is nothing that can take the place of the interaction with an animal and a child — conservation is where it has to be or these animals won’t be here,” zoo director Cheryl Locavara said.
Sixty percent of the 200 animals that call the zoo home were rescued, and now Locavara is left with memories of the ones lost.
“It’s all we’ve been talking about for days,” she said. “Jule was very animated for a blue and gold macaw. She and I had a personal relationship because she’s the one I always brought with me.”
Firefighters put out the fire inside the Reptile House quickly but not before it did some serious damage.
“Based on what the fire marshal saw, he believes it was one of the reptile fixtures on top of where it started,” Locavara said.
Zoo staff said until they figure out their next steps, the animals will be held in temporary enclosures.
Fundraising efforts are in the works and zookeepers said the outpouring of love and support encourages them.
“We do need the help of the community, if you can donate please do so. If you can donate in volunteering or supplies please let us know,” Locavara said.
If you want to help, check out how here.