Local News

NC Zoo closed another day after intense summer storm

Posted August 7, 2015 4:52 p.m. EDT
Updated August 8, 2015 7:27 a.m. EDT

— The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro will remain closed until Sunday after an intense storm damaged the park with heavy winds and hail Thursday afternoon.

Zoo officials said the North American exhibit will open Sunday and admission to the zoo will be half-price. The Africa exhibit, which sustained the most damage Thursday, will remain closed.

Supervisor Robert McCrory said he’s proud of the zoo’s natural beauty, and seeing all the trees down following the harsh storm is like seeing a slaughter.

“The wind caught them like a sail and either snapped them or rooted them,” McCrory said. “I lost four big ones. As old as those are, and as big as those are, it’s just devastating.”

While all the animals avoided harm, the damage remains a safety concern for visitors.

“Our concern is for the safety of our staff, visitors and animals mostly from hanging branches and leaning trees,” said zoo director, Dr. David Jones.

After the storm passed, the zoo staff made sure all the animals were contained.

“[We wanted to] make sure the exhibit containment was sufficient,” Jones said. “There was certainly a lot of damage, but no animals escaped.”