COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo says it plans to reopen on Saturday following a hailstorm earlier this week that killed several animals and badly damaged some zoo facilities.
The zoo said on its website that it would open to members at 8 a.m. and to the general public at 9 a.m. The zoo will close at 5 p.m. Saturday and then resume its normal operations schedule going forward.
The zoo sustained significant damage when a severe thunderstorm with baseball-to-softball-sized hail moved through the area on Monday. The zoo initially said two animals, a duck and a vulture, were killed in the hailstorm.
The zoo said Wednesday evening that two additional animals have died – a peacock named Snoop and an unnamed meerkat pup that has been missing since the storm and is presumed dead.
Several other animals are recovering from injuries and are either improving or stable, zoo staff said.
Fourteen people also were hurt and hundreds of cars in the zoo’s parking lot were damaged. About 100 cars remain in the parking lot and staff said any vehicles that have not been claimed by Tuesday at 8 a.m. will be towed at the owner’s expense.
While damage to the zoo's facilities is covered by insurance, the zoo said it is raising money to cover other losses, such as lost revenue and expenses to employees whose cars were damaged in the storm.