A blaze broke out at the African Safari Wildlife Park in Ohio on Thursday, Danbury Township police said. Ten animals were killed as the inferno broke out with firefighters rushing to the scene at the Port Clinton park at 6:15pm local time.
The fire is believed to have broken out at a barn housing animals, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office and park officials said.
Three giraffes, three red river hogs, three bongos and a springbok had been inside the barn before the fire, Officer Carolyn DeMore with the Danbury Township Police told reporters.
Holly Hunt, the co-owner of park, told CNN there are 300 other animals in the park and all had been accounted for.
Writing on Facebook, the African Safari Wildlife Park said they were “devastated” by the loss of animals.
The update added an investigation was underway to determine the cause of the horror inferno.
The statement read: “Our African Safari Wildlife Park team is devastated by the loss of animals housed in a barn destroyed by fire that was discovered early Thanksgiving evening.
“We are grateful that our staff is safe and no one was injured, but the loss of the wildlife that we care for every day is tragic for our team members who love these animals.
“We are still assessing the loss of wildlife that was housed in the barn for over-night care and security.
“Park staff members are on the scene with firefighters and official responders. An investigation is underway into the cause of the fire.”
It added: “The animals lost in this tragedy were part of our African Safari family, and the Park will be closed on Friday as we mourn their loss and care for the other animals living on the 100-acre Park.
“We deeply appreciate the first responders who worked on the holiday to try and save animals affected by the fire and thank the community for its support during this very difficult time.
“Again, we are grateful that our staff are safe, although we are all grief-stricken over this loss.”
A caretaker is believed to ave initially spotted the blaze following a power issue in the building.
Some of the park’s animals are often housed in a heated barn due to the time of year.
A video recorded by a bystander appears to show two giraffes trying to escape the horrifying blaze.
The park was closed as Americans celebrated Thanksgiving and will remain closed on Friday following the heartbreaking loss of animals.
The African Safari Wildlife Park is a drive-through wildlife park hosting a 100-acre preserve.
Visitors can watch and feed animals from their cars.
The African Safari Wildlife Park was established in 1969.