7 injured after tree breaks, falls on guests at San Antonio Zoo

One of the guests was critically injured, SAFD says

SAN ANTONIO – A tree “unexpectedly broke and fell” at the San Antonio Zoo on Wednesday, injuring seven guests, including one critically.

According to a zoo official, the incident happened at around 12:05 p.m.

“It’s such an unfortunate situation and a busy spring break day at the zoo,” said Hope Roth, vice president of marketing for the SA Zoo.

Roth said when the tree fell, the zoo’s safety director was nearby and immediately attended to the guests who were injured.

The zoo’s security/EMT team treated the guests, followed by San Antonio Park Police, the San Antonio Police Department and the San Antonio Fire Department.

According to SAFD spokesman Joe Arrington, one of the injured guests was transported to a hospital as a Priority 1, which usually indicates a victim suffered a life-threatening injury.

A post made on Facebook by a woman who appears to be a relative of one of the victims said, “There was a lot of blood at the scene, it all happened so fast there was no time to react. This all just feel so surreal.”

The woman said her relative, a young girl, “has been put to sleep for now so they can run tests... Please pray she comes out okay.”

A new video that’s circulating on social media shows chaos unfolding at the zoo just moments after the tree fell.

“I can’t believe we saw that!” Brandy Lorraine is heard saying in her video. “There’s people in there!”

Guests at the zoo are seen swarming the area where the tree fell, and some people are seen jogging up to it.

“You hear people screaming... Please pray for these people,” Lorraine said.

KSAT’s Jonathan Cotto spoke with an arborist, George Cardenas, on what he thinks could’ve caused the tree to fall.

He said the tree may have been overweight and may have had some decay in the union -- the part where the branch and trunk join.

We’ll bring more updates to this story as they become available.

Also on KSAT.com:

About the Authors

David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.

Jonathan Cotto is a reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He’s a bilingual award-winning news reporter and he joined KSAT in 2021. Before coming to San Antonio, Cotto was reporting along the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas. He’s a veteran of the United States Navy.

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