Statement Regarding Fire at the Zoo

Jun 5, 2023

The Metro Richmond Zoo is deeply saddened to report a large fire occurred in behind-the-scenes work areas of the zoo on Sunday, June 4. At 9:50 PM, a zoo employee onsite called 911 to report the fire. First responders arrived rapidly and began fighting the fire. All employees are safe.

The fire began in the zoo’s workshop area and quickly spread to the animal hospital, feed storage room, and zookeeper service area. The structures are completely destroyed. We are setting up temporary workspaces to maintain animal care and will rebuild the structures as soon as possible.

There were ten animals in the buildings that caught on fire. Through heroic efforts of firefighters and zoo staff, nine were rescued and are being monitored closely. One meerkat who was receiving care in the animal hospital died. A necropsy will be performed. 

The barrier to the kangaroo’s habitat was damaged in the fire and a temporary fence has been installed. All animals in this space are secured and have been accounted for.

The fire has been extinguished and no other animals are in danger. 

The fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire. 

We are immensely grateful for the first responders who came to the zoo’s aid. 

The zoo will open regular hours on Monday, June 5 at 9:30 AM. We appreciate your continued support. Please keep our staff in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.


Fire Update #1: Damage and How to Help (June 6)

Fire Update #2: Cleanup and Community Support (June 15)