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Little Rock Zoo reopens following storm damage

The Little Rock Zoo will be making repairs in the coming months, but the park is once open again to customers for the holiday weekend.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Friday was the first day the Little Rock Zoo was open following the strong winds and storms that moved through the area on Wednesday. 

Even though staff and volunteers have worked several hours cleaning up debris and fixing damages, there's still quite a bit left to be done.

Little Rock Zoo Director Susan Altrui was there when strong, straight line winds swept through the park Wednesday afternoon.

"It was a little bit scary. I was here in the administration building and doors behind me just flew open," said Altrui.

The winds knocked trees over and damaged several structures, including the amphitheater's canopies, a stone bathroom, the reptile house, and some fencing.

Altrui estimates the damages to be at several hundred thousands of dollars.

The zoo closed Thursday to clean up debris and to make sure that the park was safe for guests to come back.

Friday, the zoo was full of guests as the weather cleared out, but the impact of the past storm still remained.

"I think the thing that we are most grateful for is that no one was hurt. We had no animals hurt, no human life hurt, no one was injured and that's really a testament to the training of our staff," said Altrui.

The zoo's train remained closed Friday because of fallen tree limbs and branches on the tracks, but is expected to be open again Saturday.

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