A major hail storm hit parts of Colorado Springs on Monday. One of the affected areas was the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
The baseball-sized hail was so intense that the zoo was evacuated. Unfortunately, despite the evacuation, 14 visitors were injured, with five requiring a trip to the hospital.
Perhaps more devastating, however, was the loss of two animals: Daisy, a muscovy duck, and Motswari, a cape vulture.
Read Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s statement here.
During the severe hail storm today, the Zoo experienced significant damage to our infrastructure. There is also an extensive amount of debris throughout Zoo grounds. We will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, August 7, and will evaluate the buildings and grounds at that time to determine when we can re-open.
Unfortunately, in addition to several injuries, two of our animals have passed away due to trauma sustained during the hail storm. One animal was Daisy, a 4-year-old muscovy duck. The other animal was 13-year-old cape vulture, Motswari.
Our top priority is always guest and animal safety, and there were around 3,400 guests in the Zoo today. All have been evacuated and transported to Cheyenne Mountain High School where they can reunite with family members. Five guests were taken to the hospital with hail-related injuries.
We estimate that almost 400 cars in our guest parking lot were severely damaged. The road up the Zoo is now open, so if individuals would like to access their cars or have tow trucks come up, they are able to do so. Colorado Springs Police Department and Zoo security will monitor the guest parking lot throughout the night.
This video captures the intensity of the storm as well as a shot of two bears trying to find shelter.
Twitter users shared their own images of the destruction.
— CSFD PIO (@CSFDPIO) August 6, 2018
— Mark Cannon (@CannonMark) August 6, 2018
— Michael Snyder (@Revelation1217) August 7, 2018
— D. S. Saint-Clair (@DerekkPara509th) August 6, 2018
This is the result of baseball-size hail
Our photographer james_long_photography found this in Colorado Springs near Cheyenne Mountain Zoo which was pummeled today #cowx #hail #damage #insurance pic.twitter.com/BHFAFNyn9a
— Dave Fraser (@DaveFraserWX) August 7, 2018
Cheyenne mountain zoo hail storm…the car. pic.twitter.com/FvwL1F2Srv
— Douglashigley (@howie59521) August 7, 2018
Many people were shocked and concerned for the animals’ safety.
Aw poor grizzlies. The hail today was insane!
— KARL Technologies (@KARLTechnology) August 7, 2018
— Cory Rox (@SeeCoryPlay) August 7, 2018
Oh! My Heavens!!
— Sissy (@smidge001) August 7, 2018
Poor animals. 🙁
— SwayShay (@SwayShay) August 7, 2018
— Rocco (@Rocco54726248) August 7, 2018
The events inspired El Pomar Foundation, a Colorado charity that seeks to “enhance, encourage, and promote the current and future well-being of the people of Colorado,” to make a generous donation to help the zoo with recovery efforts.
In response to yesterday's hailstorm, the Trustees have approved a $100,000 recovery grant to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. To our neighbors, friends, and partners in this area, we hope everyone stays safe and recovers fast! https://t.co/05Beg8M3Wm
— El Pomar Foundation (@ElPomarFdtn) August 7, 2018
We wish all of the people, animals, businesses, and homes affected by the storm a speedy recovery!