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VIENNA, Va. — Two giraffes were found dead Monday evening after firefighters battled a blaze at a Virginia zoo, officials said.
A two-story barn at Roer’s Zoofari caught fire around 5:30 p.m. Monday night, news outlets reported.
The two giraffes were found after the fire was extinguished.
“Staff and the zoo’s veterinarian arrived within minutes to help rescue and care for approximately 20 other animals housed in the same area. We are grateful that no staff members or other Zoofari animals were injured or lost,” the zoo wrote on Facebook.
“We are all devastated by this incident,” said Vanessa Stoffel, an owner of Roer’s Zoofari.
Stoffel said one of the giraffes who died was Waffles, a 6-year-old who came to the zoo in 2016. The other giraffe was Waffles’ new companion, who had not been at the zoo long enough to be named, Stoffel said.
Waffles “was extremely popular with all our staff and guests,” Stoffel said.
It’s unclear how the giraffes died. A cause for the fire wasn’t immediately determined.
A Facebook post from the zoo said it would be closed until further notice.
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