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Las Vegas Sanctuary Fire Kills At Least 151 Birds

The Las Vegas fire killed or wounded 1,500 birds and animals housed at the Gilcrease Animal Sanctuary.

By Anastasia Thrift
Posted: March 19, 2010, 7:00 p.m EST

On the morning of March 19, 2010, a fire killed up to 350 parrots at an animal sanctuary in northwest Las Vegas. Buildings at the Gilcrease Animal Sanctuary housing numerous bird species – including ostriches, parrots, quail and ducks – caught fire just after 5 a.m.

The official Clark County Animal Control department report claims 151 birds died in the fire, but staff reports estimate between 250 and 350 birds, including at least 60 exotic parrots, perished. The staff said that all species of cockatoo and peacock were decimated by the fire.

Workers saved most of the 1,500 animals inside the facility. Surviving animals, including  30 birds, were taken to an animal hospital in North Las Vegas for treatment. The cause of the fire is as yet unknown.

The sanctuary recently received a $500,000 grant to construct new aviaries for its exotic birds. Executive director Sandra Salina said the project will continue after the fire. She added that she hopes to reopen soon after cleaning up the collapsed building and repairing damage to others.

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