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Little Ponderosa Zoo remembers Anderson County fire that destroyed part of the facility, 4 years later

As fires swept through the Little Ponderosa Zoo, crews did what they have always done — rescued animals.

SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. — This story was corrected to specify that the zoo is focusing on fires in Anderson County on Dec. 4, 2017 — not Sevier County.

Around 4 years ago, a fire in Anderson County took the lives of around 100 animals in Little Ponderosa Zoo and destroyed part of the facility.

The Little Ponderosa Zoo took in surrendered animals, caring for them and keeping them safe while crews worked to contain the fires. Now, they are remembering that time was like and the impact that the fires had on people across the region, many of whom stepped up to help the zoo repair.

"When it seemed incomprehensible to be able to move forward, many, many people stepped up to lend a hand, offer support, and help heal," they said in a post on social media. "Despite running our Zoo and Rescue out of a tent, the surrendered animals came, and they continued to come,  and we did what we knew how to do best — rescue animals! "

Since then, the zoo has continued building up its services and continued caring for exotic animals of many kinds. The community around it has also stepped up to rebuild and make sure everyone was taken care of.

"I just want to give a deepest from the bottom of my heart, thank you. There's no way we could do this without the community," said Cade Cox, with the zoo. "We have one of the best communities in the United States here. Just being able to see this place flourish and seeing dad's dream grow is a really special thing for us."

4 years since the tragic fire of December 4th, 2017 that brought so much devastation, loss and heartbreak. We are...

Posted by The Little Ponderosa Zoo on Friday, December 3, 2021

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