People Are Doing Everything They Can to Evacuate Animals from Devastating California Wildfires
The Northern California Camp Fire has so far claimed the lives of 29 people, matching the existing record for the deadliest fire in the state’s history. But Camp Fire is one of three fires currently ripping across parts of Northern and Southern California, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate. Along the way, panicked homeowners have been trying to get both themselves and their beloved pets to safety.
Animals that have needed help getting to safety include family pets such as dogs, but also larger animals that are more challenging to evacuate, such as horses, llamas, and zoo animals, including a giraffe named Stanley.
Actress and #MeToo advocate Alyssa Milano tweeted on Friday that she needed help evacuating her five horses, and was met with suggestions and offers from many concerned people, including the (in)famous conservative actor James Woods. Fortunately, Milano and her family, including the four-legged members, were moved to safety in time.
Miley Cyrus, another celebrity impacted by the fires, tweeted on Monday that while she lost her home, she and her loved ones were safe. “Completely devestated [sic] by the fires affecting my community. I am one of the lucky ones. My animals and LOVE OF MY LIFE made it out safely & that’s all that matters right now,” the pop star tweeted. Cyrus has several pets, who frequently appear on her social media accounts.
The Los Angeles Zoo was also forced to evacuate many of the animals it houses. According to USA Today, the zoo evacuated smaller primates and some bird exhibits when a brush fire broke out on Friday. Zoo staff turned sprinklers on in the zoo and hosed down the hillside the zoo sits on in order to prevent the fire from catching to the zoo and harming its many furry, feathered, and scaly inhabitants. Thankfully, the zoo was not damaged, and staff told USA Today that the animals so far do not seem to be suffering from smoke inhalation, though they are keeping an eye on the animals to ensure their continued safety and health.
Another typically wild animal was also evacuated from Malibu Wines’ safari-themed vineyard in Malibu: a giraffe whose name is Stanley. Khloé Kardashian tweeted her relief over the long-necked animal’s rescue.
While Stanley got away from the Woolsey Fire safely, ABC 7 in Chicago reports that some of the vineyard’s animals have not been located, and barns on the property were damaged in the fire. Two people have so far been killed in the Woolsey Fire as well, according to the New York Times.
In better news, some animals that were not safely evacuated managed to find their way to safety on their own. A crew from the Shasta County Coroner’s Office that was searching for human remains found a cat still alive and roaming around.
A firefighter in Paradise, California, which was utterly destroyed by the Camp Fire, also found a cat who made it through.
A representative of the Los Angeles County Animal Care & Control told NBC News that about 700 animals — including 550 horses, nine cows, and at least one tortoise — are now in the agency’s care. But an estimated 10,000 or more animals across the state remain displaced.
Here’s how to help the California wildfire victims right now.
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)