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San Antonio Zoo Accident Leaves Several Injured, CEO Issues Statement

At the San Antonio Zoo on Wednesday, several guests were injured when an unexpected large tree branch broke and fell.[0] Within minutes, first responders from the zoo and emergency personnel from the local community arrived to provide aid to those who had been hurt.[1] Our internal and external teams are collaborating to determine what caused the breakage so that this unusual event does not occur again.[2] Our utmost focus is always the protection of our guests, staff, and animals. We express our gratitude to the guests, staff, and first responders who helped in this incident. Our deepest sympathies and prayers are extended to those injured and their families, as well as those who witnessed the accident.[3]

Chris Ryan, who was nearby when the branch broke, told local outlet Fox 29 it “sounded like fireworks,” adding, “I turn around and realize that the branch was falling down — and that crackling noise was the breaking of wood!”[4]

The six injured were given medical care at the zoo before being taken to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.[5] However, one person was transported to the hospital under a “Priority No. 1,” which usually means their injuries are life threatening, according to the fire department.[5]

Chaos ensued after a large tree branch fell, as seen in a video shared on social media by zoo-goer Brandy Lorraine.[6] In a video posted on Facebook by witness Brandy Lorraine, loud voices from the crowd below can be heard in the midst of the commotion.[7] “Please pray for these people,” Lorraine said.[8]

Tim Morrow, President and CEO of San Antonio Zoo issued a statement on Twitter Thursday morning, expressing his gratitude to the guests, staff, and first responders who assisted during this incident.[9] He also said that the safety of their guests, staff, and animals is always their highest priority.

In recent months, Texas zoos have been dealing with a string of issues, with the most recent one being this incident.[10] At the start of the year, the Dallas Zoo faced a number of difficulties, such as a ruined animal pen, primates that had gone missing, and an inexplicable fatality.[1] In January, an act of intentional vandalism caused a clouded leopard named Nova to escape from its enclosure, as the fence was cut.[10] At the zoo, a deceased endangered vulture was found within its enclosure, and authorities reported that its demise did not take place naturally and was “abnormal.”[10]

The zoo does plan to be open Thursday, and the other six victims conditions remain unknown and the ages of the victims have not been released.[11]

0. “Two adults, five children hospitalized after tree falls at San Antonio Zoo” KENS5.com, 15 Mar. 2023, https://www.kens5.com/article/news/local/san-antonio-zoo-tree-falls-visitors-hurt-wednesday-texas-video/273-3c1c26c7-02e2-42f8-8b28-f816a27dd228

1. “7 sent to hospital after tree falls on them at Texas zoo” WTVD-TV, 15 Mar. 2023, https://abc11.com/7-sent-to-hospital-after-tree-falls-on-them-at-texas-zoo/12958854/

2. “San Antonio Zoo guests injured as tree limb falls; one critical” San Antonio Express-News, 15 Mar. 2023, https://www.expressnews.com/news/article/san-antonio-zoo-injured-tree-17841476.php

3. “Seven visitors, including children, injured by falling tree branch at San Antonio Zoo” San Antonio Report, 15 Mar. 2023, https://sanantonioreport.org/falling-tree-branch-san-antonio-zoo/

4. “7 Injured After Tree Branch Falls on Guests at San Antonio Zoo” PEOPLE, 16 Mar. 2023, https://people.com/human-interest/7-injured-after-tree-branch-falls-on-guests-san-antonio-zoo

5. “Seven injured, one critically, after tree branch falls on guests at San Antonio Zoo” San Antonio Current, 15 Mar. 2023, https://www.sacurrent.com/news/seven-injured-one-critically-after-tree-branch-falls-on-guests-at-san-antonio-zoo-31269578

6. “7 injured after large tree limb falls at San Antonio Zoo” CBS News, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/san-antonio-zoo-tree-limb-falls-on-family-injuring-seven-people-family

7. “1 person in critical condition after tree falls at San Antonio Zoo, injuring 7” UPI News, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2023/03/15/san-antonio-zoo-tree-branch/3301678923960

8. “7 injured after tree breaks, falls on guests at San Antonio Zoo” KSAT San Antonio, 15 Mar. 2023, https://www.ksat.com/news/local/2023/03/15/7-injured-1-critically-after-tree-branch-breaks-falls-on-guests-at-san-antonio-zoo/

9. “Seven zoo guests injured after tree limb breaks, falls in Texas” Fox News, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/us/seven-zoo-guests-injured-tree-limb-breaks-falls-texas

10. “Tree branch accident injures seven at San Antonio zoo” MENAFN.COM, 16 Mar. 2023, https://menafn.com/1105794173/Tree-branch-accident-injures-seven-at-San-Antonio-zoo

11. “San Antonio Zoo disaster as 8 hurt when tree falls on guests with one fighting for life” The Mirror, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/san-antonio-zoo-disaster-8-29470452

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