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Golf-ball sized hail kills 2 zoo animals, hurts 14 people

August 7, 2018

Chunks of hail the size of golf balls rained havoc on a Colorado zoo on Monday, shattering windows, damaging cars and sending animals and humans running for cover.

The massive hailstorm damaged buildings and animals habitats at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. The zoo will be closed Tuesday while it assesses the damage, marketing director Jenny Koche said.

Five injured people were taken to a hospital and nine more were treated on the scene and released, said Brian Vaughan, public information officer and fire captain for Colorado Springs Fire Department.

A 13-year-old caped vulture named Motswari was killed in the storm along with a 4-year-old Muscovy duck known as Daisy, Koche said. A third animal, a vulture, was severely injured.

Animals and humans scrambled for cover from the sudden barrage, visitor Jesse Barkalow said. He shot video on his phone of bears running around rocks in an enclosure as the pellets of frozen rain pummeled them.

“The bears were running around and there was no cover available for them,” he said.

The massive hailstorm shattered car windows in the parking lot and dented vehicles. Visitor Sherri Wullschleger said the hail smashed the front window of her car, knocked off the side mirrors and obliterated the sunroof.

In addition to the five people who were taken to the hospital, many more guests and staff members suffered minor injuries, Koche said.

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