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Florida Zoo Hopes to Rebuild After Devastating Blow From Hurricane Michael
Zooworld, a privately owned and funded zoo is an attraction in Panama City Beach that has been in place for more than 60 years, the manager of the zoo for the past four years, Kayte Hogan told Reuters. The five acre small zoo, home to capybaras, alligators, a lion, tigers, giraffes and more, offers 'a close and personal experience' where visitors get to interact and connect with animals that are just a few feet away. Hogan has added new enclosures to the facilities and had plans to add more by the end of winter, however, today she hopes she can fix the damage caused by Michael, a storm that devastated the Florida's northwest, instead. Hogan, who hunkered down with her staff at a hotel across the road, said that she was grateful that all the zookeepers and staff are safe but was heartbroken over the damage caused by the storm that claimed the lives of two animals inside the park. Zookeepers and other animal loving volunteers from nearby towns did rush to help with the situation at Zooworld, post Michael, and were able to secure and account for, and in some cases shuffle the location, of the animals to assure safety of all. In a town that today has no power or cell services, it has been a challenge to bring building materials and workers to boost the recovery process as Hogan and her team would like to do. At least seven people were killed in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina from falling trees and other hurricane-related incidents as Michael barreled its way north.