Three giraffes die in blaze at US safari park

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Giraffe (File Photo).
Giraffe (File Photo).
GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP

A fire tore through a barn in a safari park in the US state of Ohio Thursday night, killing several animals including three giraffes, according to park officials and local media.

Video carried by NBC news showed two giraffes cantering back and forth in their pen as the flames billowed against the night sky in the African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, near the southern shore of Lake Erie.

Local ABC affiliate WTV13 said 10 animals were believed to have been killed in the blaze, including three giraffes, three red river hogs, three bongos and a springbok.

Springboks and bongos are species of antelope.

A zebra and a giraffe escaped the flames and were secured by park officials, local newspaper the Toledo Blade said.

In a statement posted on its Facebook page the park said it was "devastated by the loss of animals housed in a barn destroyed by fire... the loss of the wildlife that we care for every day is tragic for our team members who love these animals."

"The animals lost in this tragedy were part of our African Safari family, and the Park will be closed on Friday as we mourn their loss."

No humans were injured in the blaze, it said, adding an investigation was underway to determine the cause of the fire.

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