See The Massive Tree That Fell On Guests At A Popular Zoo
A freak accident occurred at the San Antonio Zoo in Texas when a tree giant tree branch suddenly broke off and fell on seven guests, leaving one critically injured.
A fun day at the San Antonio Zoo in Texas came to a crashing halt on Wednesday as a gigantic tree branch broke off and fell onto a group of seven guests. One of the victims suffered critical injuries and was transported to a local hospital as a Priority 1. That designation usually indicates the patient suffered a life-threatening injury.
San Antonio Zoo officials said the incident happened around 12:05 p.m. on March 15 and that the injured included children and adults. “It’s such an unfortunate situation and a busy spring break day at the zoo,” said Hope Roth, the zoo’s vice president of marketing. Roth said that the zoo’s safety director was nearby when the heavy branch fell and was able to provide immediate assistance to the injured guests and that San Antonio Park Police and the zoo’s security and EMT teams arrived at the scene shortly after.
Additional help soon came via the San Antonio Police Department(SAPD) and the San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD). Joe Arrington, spokesperson for the SAFD, told local news station KSAT about the one guest with the level one priority care status. According to NBCNews, all of the injured guests were transported to the hospital as a precautionary measure, but their current condition is unknown.
A woman claiming to be the mother of one of the San Antonio Zoo victims posted on Facebook, “There was a lot of blood at the scene, it all happened so fast there was no time to react. This all just feels so surreal.” She said that her daughter had been “put to sleep” so they could run tests and asked readers to pray that she would be okay.
Brandy Lorraine was visiting the San Antonio Zoo that day with her 9-year-old daughter and witnessed the incident from where they sat on a bench next to the tree. Lorraine said the branch fell on top of people sitting on nearby benches, its fall signaled only by a cracking noise. She said that even thinking about it now scared her because they could’ve been the ones sitting under the heavy branch.
“It was a freak accident. It was so scary,” Lorraine told the San Antonio Express-News. “I saw a woman running for help with blood on her hands. I heard people screaming. I just hope everyone is OK.”
Tim Morrow, president and CEO of the San Antonio Zoo, told the newspaper that they are working with internal and external teams to determine the cause of the breakage. He also said they hoped discovering the cause would mean this unusual event would never happen at the park again. He thanked first responders, guests, and staff who assisted the victims and said, “The safety of our guests, staff, and animals is always our highest priority.”
KSAT’s Jonathan Cotto talked with arborist George Cardenas to find out what might have been the reason for the branch suddenly breaking off. Cardenas said the tree may have been overweight and have decayed at the union where the branch joins the trunk. It remains unknown if groundskeepers at the San Antonio Zoo bear fault for allowing the tree to become too heavy or rotted.
The San Antonio Zoo spans over 50 acres and is home to over 750 species of animals. More than one million visitors attend the zoo each year to see its varied collection of creatures, including several endangered species and some animals that are extinct in the wild. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Zoological Association of America, and Humane Certified by American Humane.