Roer's Zoofari in Reston says staff is devastated after a Monday evening barn fire claimed the life of beloved giraffe Waffles and his new giraffe companion who had yet to be named.

Zoofari owner Vanessa Roer received the call at 5:30 p.m. from Fairfax County dispatch that the barn where the giraffes were housed caught fire. Staff and the zoo's veterinarian arrived within minutes to help rescue and care for approximately 20 other animals housed in the same area, the zoo said in a Facebook post.

Unfortunately, we have very sad news to share. Tonight the Roer's Zoofari staff and family are devastated following a...

Posted by Roer's Zoofari on Monday, March 8, 2021

"We are grateful that no staff members or other Zoofari animals were injured or lost," they wrote.

The zoo will be closed until further notice.

Fairfax County fire and rescue arrived at the zoo on Hunter Mill Road in Reston to find fire through the roof and two floors of a barn. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Formerly the Reston Zoo, Roer's Zoofari changed ownership in 2016. The zoo has a wide variety of animals, from cheetahs and a bobcat to American bison and a red kangaroo.


Waffles the giraffe

One of the first animal residents at Roer's was Waffles the giraffe, who suffered a fall as a youngster that knocked out some teeth and made his tongue hang out.

Stay with for updates.


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