Fire Update #1: Damage and How to Help

Jun 6, 2023

Since the fire Sunday night, the zoo has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from the community. You are the light in a devastating situation. Thank you.

Right now, we are assessing the damage and taking inventory of what was lost. The cleanup process is just beginning.

The damages to the buildings are significant. Both structures will have to be demolished and completely rebuilt. The two large buildings that burned down were the home base centers for our animal care, vet care, and maintenance operations. The areas where we stored most animal feed, prepared animal diets, conducted surgeries, kept maintenance equipment, and much more are now gone. The damages range from lost veterinary equipment like X-ray and anesthesia machines to destroyed maintenance tools like drills, saws, building materials, ladders, surplus tires, replacement parts, and more. Six golf carts were reduced to nothing more than metal frames. Our zookeeper breakroom was destroyed and staff lost personal belongings.

All of the production lights, backdrops, and stage used in the Miracle of Christmas nativity pageant were destroyed. We are seeking connections with anyone who has surplus lighting equipment.

We have set up a temporary food prep area in one of the barns for our zookeepers to work from. We are amazed by our hardworking team. They have been so flexible and creative during these hard times. We have been in contact with our animal feed suppliers and are receiving shipments. The animals continue to enjoy their regular diets.

Many veterinary companies and local vet clinics have already offered their help to provide us with critical vet equipment. Zoos across the country have offered their condolences and are sending items for support.

The zoo will continue to operate while we rebuild these facilities as soon as possible.

The fire marshal is still conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire.


How to Help

Hundreds of people have reached out asking how they can help. We are deeply appreciative. For those interested, here are some ways that you can lend support:

  1. Visit the Zoo: Come see us! The zoo and all exhibits are fully open.
  2. Wish List: We’ve created an Amazon wish list of items we need.
  3. Donate: You can visit our online store to donate directly to the zoo.
  4. Volunteer: Complete this form if you are willing to help clean up at the zoo. We will contact you as the need arises. While the investigation is still going on, the amount of cleanup we can do right now is limited.

The zoo’s mailing address is 8300 Beaver Bridge Road, Moseley, VA 23120.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!