Published: Tue, August 07, 2018

Hail at Colorado Springs Zoo Injures 8 People, Kills 3 Animals

Hail at Colorado Springs Zoo Injures 8 People, Kills 3 Animals

The storm started soon after 2 p.m. close to Manitou Springs and rolled through populated areas including the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and the Broadmoor.

At least eight people were hospitalized after being hit by large hail at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs on Monday afternoon. A duck and a vulture were killed at the zoo by the hail storm. Cape vulture numbers have declined as much as 90 per cent in three generations, vulture conservation group VulPro said a year ago.

This is a developing story and as more information becomes available this article will be updated. But the Colorado Springs Gazette quoted her as saying only one vulture and one duck were killed. Three Zoo employees were injured seriously enough to be transported to the hospital, and more staff injuries are still being reported Tuesday.

All guests from the zoo are being transported via public transit to the Cheyenne Mountain High Zoo because the parking lot is full of vehicles that officials have deemed too damaged to drive.

The zoo was closed on Tuesday as crews take care of injured animals and fix broken windows and skylights. Power line collisions and farmers poisoning animal carcasses to kill predators have largely eradicated the population.

Softball-size hail was reported in the area, but it was smaller at the zoo.

The storm knocked out power to almost 2000 customers. A flash flood warning was also issued for southern Colorado Springs and El Paso County. About 3,400 guests were at the zoo at the time.

The storm knocked out power to almost 2,000 customers in the area, and heavy rain and debris forced the closure of US Highway 24 west of Manitou Springs, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.

Five people had to be taken to nearby hospitals and nine others were treated and released, according to a spokesperson for the Colorado Springs Fire Department.

"It became a unsafe situation for both guests, staff and also our animals", said Jenny Koch, a spokesperson for the zoo.

The Zoo's summer camps are canceled for the remainder of the week and full refunds will be issued.

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