PORT CLINTON, Ohio (WTVG) - UPDATE (12/5/2019): The State Fire Marshal has concluded its investigation into the Thanksgiving fire at the African Safari Wildlife Park, determining the fire was not an act of criminal activity.
Investigators determined the fire originated in the southwest portion of the barn, and the cause has been ruled undetermined. They could not determine if a reported power outage the day before had any involvement in the fire.
The owners of African Safari Wildlife Park assessed the damage after a fire tore through a barn located on the property, killing ten animals on Thanksgiving Day.
Zoos from throughout Ohio and the rest of the country have offered their support. according to co-owner Holly Hunt.
Of the ten animals killed were three giraffes, Waylon, Quinn and a third, Beltre, that just arrived at the park last week. Also three Red River hogs, Merlin, RJ and Priscilla. Three Bongos - Tank, Binti and Diesel, and Chip, a springbok.
More than 400 other animals remain at the park, and grief counseling has been made available for team members.
The building, a wooden structure with sheet metal siding built in the 1980s was completely destroyed.
The barn had partial heating, though it is unknown if that contributed to the fire, according to Frank Reitmeier, an investigator with the Ohio Fire Marshall’s Office.
He said it may take several weeks for “definitive answer” as to the cause of the fire, adding that “there is nothing to make us think it’s a criminal act at this point.”
A power outage had occurred the day before.
If you'd like to help the park, a memorial fund has been set up that will benefit wildlife conservation. The money will specifically help giraffes. Here is a link to donate.