Crew from San Antonio Zoo heads to Louisiana to help clean up after Hurricane Laura

‘All nonprofits have the same goal, we are in this together,’ zoo staff member said

SAN ANTONIO – A category four hurricane made land fall near Lake Charles Louisiana last week, but also did significant damage to Alexandria, which is about an hour north of Lake Charles.

That’s why crew members from the San Antonio Zoo hooked up trailers carrying Bob Cat front end loaders along with chain saws and other construction materials and left Wednesday morning to help out at the Alexandria Zoo.

Staff with the Alexandria Zoo have been cleaning up after Hurricane Laura hit last week.

“It’s a very stressful situation you are trying to get everything cleaned up,” Adam Malstaff the director of facilities with the San Antonio Zoo said. “You are trying to get everybody back to normal as soon as possible especially when you are talking about the welfare of the animals.”

The crew will be cleaning up downed trees, debris and restoring damaged animal exhibits.

Malstaff said it was an easy decision to help out, saying that all nonprofits have the same goal of animal conservation are in this together.

“So when it comes to somebody suffering or enduring additional damage or loss of facility or anything like that, I think everyone rallies together,” Malstaff said.

They won’t just be helping Alexandria clean up over the next two days, but giving the staff who has been working around the clock a break since before the hurricane hit.

“Their staff has been there and they have been working,” Malstaff said. “I’m sure they are all getting pretty tired so hopefully us showing up will provide some much needed relief.

Local businesses and organizations have donated materials to help out like fuel cards from Valero Energy and United Rentals that has donated construction equipment.

This is not the first time the San Antonio Zoo has helped out another facility after a natural disaster. They went to Houston to help the downtown Houston Aquarium in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey.

About the Authors

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.

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