Evacuated Animals sheltered in Santa Ana Zoo

Due to the wildfires in Southern California on October 26th, the Santa Ana Zoo received 130 animals for temporary shelter.

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Photo Courtesy of: City of Santa Ana Zoo staff carrying animals from the Orange County Zoo.

Due to the wildfires in Southern California on October 26th, the Santa Ana Zoo received 130 animals for temporary shelter.

The animals were evacuated on Wednesday, following concerns regarding the Silverado and Blueridge wildfires as the former prompted mandatory evacuation orders.

Most of the animals being sheltered were ones that had been rescued from the wilderness, such as bears, eagles, raccoons, and more. However, there were some animals from the Orange County Zoo, consisting of species that are native to the Southwest region of California. 

“They could sense the commotion [on] Monday; wind activity, people moving around, smoke, helicopters. They’re very smart,” Orange County Zoo’s manager, Donald Zeigler, says.

This is the second time the zoo has evacuated their animals with the first being in 2017 due to the Canyon Fire 2. Santa Ana Zoo also reached out back then and had offered to provide temporary accommodations due to the wildfires.

According to the Orange County Register, this evacuation took about two and half hours- one hour more than the previous evacuation. Upon arrival at Santa Ana Zoo, twelve city staff came in to assist with the relocation.

“This is something that takes a lot of work and planning, but we were happy to help out,” Ethan Fisher, the Santa Ana Zoo manager, says.

The animals would be put into indoor spaces inside off-exhibit holding.