A powerful hailstorm in Colorado has left 14 people injured and two animals dead at the Colorado Zoo.

According to Brian Vaughan, a public information officer and fire captain for the Colorado Springs Fire Department, five injured individuals were taken to a hospital, while the other nine were treated at the scene and released.

“People were running and screaming and crying. There was a lady who was covered in blood. Car alarms were going off. It was traumatic,” one citizen told reporters. “It sounded like being in a war zone, like being in Iraq. It was scary.”

A 13-year-old caped vulture named Motswari and 4-year-old Muscovy duck named Daisy both died due to the severity of the hail. Another vulture was thought to be dead, as well, but it was later reported that this information was false. The bird was severely injured, but it is still alive.

This wasn’t just any hail storm. The hail was enormous; in fact, the frozen rain was about the size of a softball.

The devastation extended beyond living beings. The massive storm did a number on several motor vehicles, shattering windshields and causing significant damage.

Despite this unfortunate event, the zoo believes that its employees did what they were supposed to in order to ensure the safety of visitors given the circumstances.

A statement read:

“Everyone knew exactly what their job was and exactly what to do. We were able to minimize any kind of fear or panic in our guests, and also minimize any further injuries.”

Now that the storm is over, the Colorado Zoo is erring on the side of precaution in the wake of this storm.

“We’re still trying to figure out the extent of the damage and what needs to be done to reopen,” said marketing director Jenny Koch.


Featured Image via Flickr/woodleywonderworks