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Trapped Animals in Ripley's Aquarium due to Gatlinburg Wildfire Safe

By Rose C
Dec 01, 2016 10:21 AM EST

Ripley's Aquarium's animals left behind the property due to the Gatlinburg Wildfire are safe and taken care of.

In a Facebook post of Ripley's Aquarium, the management said:

"For the safety of our employees and guests, all of our Attractions will remain closed until the evacuation has lifted. We have a team of Marine Biologists and Life Support Experts inside the Aquarium and are happy to report that the animals are safe."

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies General Manager Ryan DeSear expressed appreciation to all the employees and the first responders on the site.

"First and foremost we would like to thank the first responders for risking their lives to save our community. We would also like to thank our dedicated Aquarium team that stayed as late as possible before being forced to evacuate when fires approached the back of our building. We are grateful to have had the police escort our emergency team back into the Aquarium early this morning to check on the well-being of our animals," DeSear said in a blog on the Ripley's Aquarium website.

Last Nov. 28, reports of a fast-spreading wildfire in Tennessee broke the internet. Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller says in all 12 people have been injured in the wildfires in the Gatlinburg area. To make matters worse, aquarium officials disclosed that employees were forced to evacuate Ripley's Aquarium which houses more than 10,000 of fish, penguins, and other living creatures.

In a report from, DeSear said that the "raging fire" was about 50 yards away from the aquarium when the employees were evacuated. DeSear was confident that the animals were safe since the aquarium's live web camera was still active.

"As long as we have fuel in our generators, that aquarium can run on its own," DeSear said.

Miller disclosed that no reports of missing people were filed. The wildfire spread Monday night by winds that exceeded 87 miles per hour.

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