Los Angeles Zoo evacuates some animals as fire burns on nearby hillside

Posted at 12:40 PM, Nov 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-09 15:12:16-05

Some animals were evacuated from the Los Angeles Zoo on Friday as a fast-growing brush fire on a nearby hillside threatened the facility.

The zoo staff evacuated birds used in its “World of Birds” show and some of the smaller primate species, the zoo said in a statement posted on its webpage.

“We turned on our sprinkler systems, and our Ground Maintenance staff began hosing the hillside by hand,” the statement said. “It does not appear that the smoke is causing any issues for the animals but on-site staff is monitoring the conditions.”

The zoo was closed to the public on Friday. Earlier in the day, the zoo said it was awaiting guidance from the Los Angeles Fire Department on whether to open.

The fire department said the fire in Griffith Park was holding at 30 acres in heavy brush on steep and difficult-to-navigate terrain.

No structures burned. One firefighter was hurt and transported to a hospital, according to CNN affiliate WCAL. Off-ramps on the northbound 5 Freeway and eastbound and westbound 134 Freeway were closed because of smoke, the zoo said on Twitter.

The 133-acre Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is home to more than 1,400 animals, including mammals, birds and amphibians, representing 270 species, according to the zoo website. The gardens have about 7,000 plants from more than 800 plant species.