ARIZONA NEWS

Diamond Fire could endanger animals at Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Jun 27, 2023, 10:11 PM | Updated: 10:50 pm

Diamond Fire could hurt Wildlife Conservation Center 2023...

(Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center photo)

(Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center photo)

PHOENIX — An animal sanctuary in north Scottsdale is joining the fight against the 2,500-acre Diamond Fire, which started at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Staff enacted its fire protocol when the flames started to pose a threat. According to a press release the center released at around 7 p.m., it developed the protocol with help from local fire departments.

“This is one of the closer fires we’ve experienced,” marketing development manager Jamie Haas Oliver told KTAR News 92.3 FM by email.  “Smoke inhalation isn’t good for any mammals.”

She said small animals at the edge of the property are being moved to the center by crates. They’re also trying to hose down foliage at the edge of the property so the fire doesn’t spread onto the property at North 156th Street.

“Bears and mountain lions will remain in their enclosures,” she said. “Large animals like these live in the center of the sanctuary for this exact reason — they don’t need to be sedated and moved in an emergency.”

The center is Arizona’s only sanctuary capable of caring for large animals like black bears, Mexican grey wolves and mountain lions, according to its site.

“We’re lucky to not have any releasable black bears on site — only our five adult permanent resident black bears,” Oliver said.

It’s too soon to tell if the Diamond Fire is endangering the animals

She said the center’s policy is to shelter the animals in place, instead of moving them elsewhere if the fire worsens.

Many of the animal residents are tenuous — not to mention enormous. Five-hundred pound black bears and 180-pound mountain lions can be hard to quickly transport in an emergency.

“Southwest staff has worked with fire departments to determine the best course of action in these kinds of situations,” she said.

As the staff works hard to hold the Diamond Fire at bay, they’re too busy to see how the animals are faring.

“We won’t know if or how much this is affecting the animals at Southwest until we’re through it and our amazing volunteer veterinarians and staff vet techs can conduct evaluations,” she said.

Until then, she encourages animal lovers to keep the center in their thoughts.

“Ordinary folks can wait and keep the animals in their thoughts and prayers,” she said. “We’ll know what we need once we’re on the other side of this.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Bright Angel Point...

KTAR.com

Grand Canyon’s Bright Angel Point Trail to close starting June 21

A popular trail at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon will become temporarily unavailable to visitors starting next week.

20 minutes ago

Ryan So Scottsdale PD died Thursday night...

KTAR.com

Police disclose more details regarding death of Scottsdale detective

Law enforcement authorities on Friday night disclosed more information about the death of Scottsdale Police detective Ryan So on Thursday.

2 hours ago

Close-up stock photo of an elderly woman's hands crossed in her lap. The number of metro Phoenix el...

Kevin Stone

Officials sound alarm about growing problem of elder abuse in metro Phoenix

Elder abuse is growing at an alarming rate in metro Phoenix, with the number cases rising by nearly 20% last year.

3 hours ago

Breakfast restaurant Over Easy will host a welcome weekend event for the launch of its new Peoria l...

Bailey Leasure

Over Easy set to host grand opening for its new Peoria location

Breakfast restaurant Over Easy will host a welcome weekend event for the launch of its new Peoria location. 

3 hours ago

Rendering of the Italian restaurant Il Brocca, which is planned to open in Scottsdale in 2025. (Bri...

Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

Texas-based Italian restaurant eyes location in Scottsdale

Il Bracco, an upscale Italian restaurant chain based in Dallas, Texas, is looking to open its first location in Arizona in Scottsdale.

5 hours ago

A Silver Alert was issued for an 88-year-old man last seen Friday morning in Mesa who has dementia ...

KTAR.com

Silver Alert: 88-year-old man from Mesa missing

A Silver Alert was issued for an 88-year-old man last seen Friday morning in Mesa after being reported missing by his son.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Diamond Fire could endanger animals at Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center