You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Gatlinburg wildfire threatens Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies; employees forced to abandon building


Update: All of the animals at the Ripley Aquarium are safe, officials announced on the aquarium's Facebook page. The aquarium will be closed until the evacuation has been lifted. 

>> UPDATED STORY: Gatlinburg aquarium: 'Animals are safe' after devastating Tennessee wildfires

For the safety of our employees and guests, all of our Attractions will remain closed until the evacuation has lifted....

Posted by Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies on Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Original post: Thousands of animals at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies are being threatened by wildfires that have destroyed hotels, homes and businesses.

But the aquarium, which houses more than 10,500 animals, is still standing, WBIR reported.

Ryan DeSear, Tennessee Ripley Attractions general manager told the television station that he wasn't sure if the flames reached the building, but said the webcams were still broadcasting overnight Monday and that the building itself was still there.

"As long as we have fuel in our generators, that aquarium can run on its own," DeSear said.

The aquarium is built on a bunker and steps were taken to ensure the safety of the animals, WATE reported.

The fire was only 50 yards from the building when workers were forced to leave their stations.

Many vowed not to leave because they didn't want to leave the animals behind.

"They were (forced to evacuate). To them, every animal has a name. You don't give that up," DeSear said.

He was one of the last to leave the building Monday evening. He said he checked on the animals before he left and all were acting normally.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Trump boots Obama surgeon general, replaces with deputy nurse
Trump boots Obama surgeon general, replaces with deputy nurse

President Donald Trump has appointed Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams as acting U.S. Surgeon General after asking for the resignation of former President Barack Obama’s surgeon general Vivek H. Murthy on Friday. Murthy was asked to step down after “after assisting in a smooth transition into the new Trump administration,” Department of...
WATCH: Dash cam catches moment 4-year-old falls from bus on highway
WATCH: Dash cam catches moment 4-year-old falls from bus on highway

A dash camera caught the moments after a 4-year-old girl falls from the back of a bus onto a busy Arkansas highway and is rescued by a local volunteer firefighter. Ryan Ciampoli was traveling behind the bus down Highway 65 in Harrison on Wednesday when his dash-mounted camera, running the entire time, caught a scene he couldn’t quite wrap...
Clark County to change Urbana Road as Navistar continues expansion
Clark County to change Urbana Road as Navistar continues expansion

Clark County will spend about $450,000 to make changes to portions of Urbana Road later this summer ahead of a major expansion at a local truck factory. The Navistar assembly plant at 6125 Urbana Road already has close to 1,500 employees — making it one of Springfield’s largest employers — and could add hundreds more soon after two...
Junior Achievement to honor business leaders
Junior Achievement to honor business leaders

Junior Achievement of the Mad River Region will honor a New Carlisle business owner, an educator and a Mechanicsburg couple who started their own fair trade coffee business at an event next month. JA of the Mad River Region will honor Bill Scarff, owner of Scarff’s Nursery in New Carlisle, as its 2017 Laureate. Scarff has played an active role...
50,000 bees found in 9-foot long beehive under roof of AZ home
50,000 bees found in 9-foot long beehive under roof of AZ home

A giant 9-foot long beehive with some 50,000 bees inside was discovered under the eaves and in the attic of a guest house on a property in Tucson, Arizona. Homeowner Cindy Stewart called in bee experts to help relocate the massive hive of Africanized honey bees last week, according to KOLD-TV. Stewart said trying to handle the colony by herself seemed...
More Stories