Zoo Hit Hard by Hurricane Sandy
High winds bring down dozens of trees. Volunteers needed for clean up efforts.
Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo is temporarily closed as staff and volunteers clean up after Hurricane Sandy. Power went out about 6 p.m. on October 29 and was restored sometime overnight on November 1.
Our pre-storm protocol includes locking all animals in inside “houses.” For the large carnivores like lions and tigers, this is a concrete den, so they were far from danger of injury or escape. While the grounds are covered with downed trees and debris, we feel lucky to have suffered no animal or human injuries, and no escapes. One senior llama died during the storm, but we can’t say for certain that it was a result of the storm.
Our dedicated staff continues to work as swiftly as possible to care for the animals, clear tree limbs, and repair torn fences and aviary nets. The animals wait for the equivalent of “room service.” They may be a little restless inside, but many exterior exhibit runs are littered with broken tree limbs or aren’t secure yet.
Volunteer Clean up on Saturday, November 3
RSVP on our Facebook page for Saturday between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. so we know how many kind helpers to expect.
The zoo has just requested help from volunteers this weekend to help the staff recover from damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
We know the animals are eager to have cleared and secured outside runs to return to, and zoo guests can’t properly visit until we get things back in order.
Please bring your own tools – gloves, rakes, pitchforks, debris tarps or hand tools – to assist with clearing paths, enclosures and exhibits of the many branches and leaves that the winds brought down. If you have a gas powered leaf blower and earplugs and want to be a leaf-buster, that would be great, too. No chainsaws – our faint hearts couldn’t take it if a volunteer got hurt helping us out.