Fire Update #2: Cleanup and Community Support

Jun 15, 2023

It’s been eleven days since the fire at the zoo, and we have been deeply touched by the amount of love the community has given us. Hundreds of individuals and organizations across Virginia (and the country) have reached out to offer assistance. We are so immensely grateful.

Friends, family, colleagues, former employees, companies, churches, schools, community leaders, and many more kind-hearted people have all extended love, condolences, and support. Thank you for the letters, emails, messages, and donations.



After the fire, over 150 volunteers showed up to help clean the mess. We are so appreciative. Volunteers sorted through rubble, shoveled debris, scrubbed off soot, moved equipment, and much more. Many of the helpers were individuals and families from the area and even neighboring states.

The amount of progress we made at the site in one week is remarkable. The workshop and feed storage area have been completely removed to nothing more than a concrete floor. All that remains of the animal hospital are the external, cinder block walls. Thanks to every volunteer’s help, we are one step closer to rebuilding.


Community Support

In addition to volunteering, many people have supported the zoo through donations and an Amazon wish list. More than 450 items were donated from our Amazon list. These items will help replace the important machinery and supplies that we lost in the fire. Our staff is so overwhelmed by the support.

Thank you to the many people and organizations who have donated relief funds and given account credits to help the zoo.

Veterinary companies and local vet clinics have been in contact with us to provide critical vet materials and equipment.

Thank you to everyone who has purchased lunch for our staff. It has not gone unnoticed, and it has helped boost our spirits.


Moving Forward

Our team continues to be flexible and creative during this time, especially while working out of temporary spaces.

We lost 9 vehicles in the fire, so our staff has been hauling supplies around the park on foot. We have been so impressed by them and their dedication. Our maintenance team has been working extra diligently to clean up the site and set up temporary work areas.

While the animal hospital is being rebuilt, we will be installing a trailer for an interim vet clinic.

Crews have begun preparing the ground to place the foundation for the replacement buildings. We will rebuild the structures in the original place, but larger to accommodate the needs of a growing zoological park.