hail storm

The Sneide family waits for their ride home after being stranded at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo due to a monster hail storm. Visitors at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo were evacuated to Cheyenne Mountain High School and waited to be picked up after Monday's storm devastated the zoo. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

Two more animals at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo have died of injuries from Monday’s hailstorm, bringing the total to four, and the zoo will remain closed until Saturday, zoo spokeswoman Jenny Koch said Wednesday.

A peacock named Snoop died of “hail injuries,” and a missing meerkat pup has not been found and is assumed to be dead, Koch said in an email. The meerkat, which likely burrowed underground during the storm, was from the most recent litter and had not yet been named.

As earlier reported, the hail also killed a 13-year-old rare Cape vulture named Motswari and a 4-year-old Muscovy duck named Daisy.

All other injured animals are either improving or stable, Koch said. A veterinary team from the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University in Fort Collins will come to the zoo Friday to consult on Twinkie, the Rocky Mountain goat with an injured eye.

The zoo, which has been closed since the devastating storm, is scheduled to reopen Saturday, Koch said. Members will be allowed in at 8 a.m., followed by the general public at 9 a.m.

Zoo staff have set up a way for fans to donate in the wake of the storm, which also sent five people to a hospital and severely damaged vehicles and buildings on the property.

“Although the Zoo is fully covered by insurance, the revenue lost during these high-season days will still be a hit for our nonprofit budget,” Koch said in the email. “Our employees are also stretched financially, due to personal vehicle losses.”

Four buildings — the Monkey Pavilion, the administration building, Primate World and the Scutes Family Gallery — were most severely damaged, with shattered skylights, zoo President Bob Chastain said Tuesday.

To donate, visit cmzoo.org/help.

As of Wednesday night, 101 undrivable guest cars remained in the zoo’s main parking lot, Koch said.

Zoo security will monitor them through 5 p.m. Thursday, then they will be towed to the south corner of the parking lot without security monitoring. If they aren’t claimed by 8 a.m. Tuesday, the vehicles will be towed to a monitored facility at the owner’s expense.

All of the zoo’s EdVenture programs are canceled for the rest of the week, including any birthday parties, ZOOMobile appearances, WildNights, Kids-Only WildNights, zoo exploration tours and teen programs. All programs will resume Monday.

Ellie is a general assignment reporter. She's a proud Midwesterner, stationery hoarder and Earl Grey tea enthusiast. After interning at The Gazette in 2015, she joined the newspaper's staff in 2016.

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