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Fort Worth Zoo assisting Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo caught in the path of Hurricane Laura

Posted Aug. 31, 2020

Fort Worth Zoo Executive Director Michael Fouraker is leading a team of employees to the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo in Monroe, La., one of the animal facilities affected by Hurricane Laura. The zoo will transport a utility terrain vehicle, trailers, chainsaws and other equipment and will lend their expertise to help the local team assess the damage and begin cleanup efforts.

“The facility sustained significant damage, and we are going to help remove downed trees and debris, as well as repair some facilities,” Fouraker said. “We have an additional team on standby to come and help once damage is assessed.”

This is a coordinated effort of the Zoological Disaster Response, Rescue and Recovery (ZDR3) team, which is comprised of several zoos and wildlife facilities in Texas and surrounding states, headquartered at the Fort Worth Zoo. The team was created as a response to the overwhelming need of disaster support among animal facilities following Hurricane Harvey in 2017. It was clear that coordinated communication and rescue and recovery efforts were needed ahead of future natural disasters.

“The function of ZDR3 is to funnel all disaster relief calls for help to one central command center. The command center will then coordinate with participating institutions the relief needs of the damaged facility,” Fouraker said. “This coordinated effort will assist the facility in need with manpower, equipment and additional resources as needed.”

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