Fort Worth Zoo assisting Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo

Michael Fouraker heads the Fort Worth Zoo team assisting hurricane-damaged Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo in Monroe, La. (Photo courtesy Fort Worth Zoo)

Fort Worth Zoo Executive Director Michael Fouraker is leading a team of employees to the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo in Monroe, Louisiana, one of the animal facilities affected by Hurricane Laura. The Zoo will transport a UTV, 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 in a news release. “We are taking a UTV, in addition to trucks and trailers, chainsaws and tools. We have an additional team on standby to come and help once damage is assessed.”

Brad Hazelton, Casey Beck, Michael Fouraker.
(Photo courtesy Fort Worth Zoo.)

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 news release said,

ZDR3 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.

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“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,” said Fouraker. “This coordinated effort will assist the facility-in-need with manpower, equipment, and additional resources as needed.”

The response team will assess damage and needs before determining if additional help may be required, but the Fort Worth Zoo is ready and able to lend a hand to the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo, the news release said.