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Phoenix Zoo Closed Again Thursday Due To Storm Damage

Phoenix Zoo entrance
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
file | staff
The entrance to the Phoenix Zoo.

The Phoenix Zoo will remain closed for another day as staff and clean-up crews haul away trees and repair fences that were damaged by Monday’s monsoon. The zoo was hit particularly hard by the storm, which left thousands across the Valley without power. Linda Hardwick is with the Phoenix Zoo.

"This is really unprecedented for us, we’ve never had to close the zoo for this many days in a row due to a storm," said Hardwick.

Hardwick said they hope to have most of the zoo open by Saturday when they celebrate the first birthday of the Jiwa, the zoo’s Bornean orangutan.

Some of the trees that were damaged were older than the zoo itself, Hardwick said.  Fortunately, many of them will be recycled.

"Many of the animals are able to use the vegetation off of the trees as part of their diet; and then branches and trunks will be cut down and used as exhibit furniture, we like to call it," she saidd.

Anything the zoo is unable to use, they’ll give to the city of Tempe, which they’ll then use as compost. 

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.