Brandywine Zoo monkey house remains closed following storm damage

Crews are continuing to assess the damage to the monkey house at the Brandywine Zoo following Friday’s rainstorm.

Brandywine Zoo Director Gene Peacock said the giant oak tree that fell on the monkey house will have to be completely extracted before contractors can make a proper assessment of the structural soundness of the building.

“We structurally don’t know the condition of the building,” said Peacock. “We have to get the tree completely removed. We just don’t know yet. There is significant damage to the building.”

Friday’s storm dropped heavy amounts of rain across the state, which likely weighed the tree down and caused it to fall.

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“It was an old tree and there was a cavity in the bottom and it just aged and it gave way and snapped,” explained Peacock. “When you get a tree that big, you get so much weight in the tops of the trees and it’s just an old tree. It’s not uncommon in oak trees.”

Despite the damage, Peacock said none of the animals were harmed.

“All of the monkeys are fine,” he said. “We had a few that we observed for a few days. They got wet because of the plumbing and rain got into the building and they were a little stressed from everything going on because that is their home.”

Some of the 24 monkeys are being housed in other exhibits within the Brandywine Zoo. Other monkeys were taken to the Philadelphia Zoo and the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, Pa.

The Brandywine Zoo reopened today and will continue its summer camp program. For now, the camp will be held at the Blue Ball Barn in Wilmington, but Peacock said they hope to have the education building, located near the monkey house, back up and running by the end of the week.

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