Truck wreck spills penguins from Indy Zoo
MARSHALL, Texas (AP) - A truck transporting zoo animals overturned early Tuesday, spilling 24 penguins, an octopus and tropical fish along a highway north of Marshall, authorities said.
"We had a penguin wreck," said Department of Public Safety Trooper Richard Buchanan. "They were thrown out into a ditch and in the roadway."
Three penguins that landed in the highway were killed by oncoming traffic, and one suffered a broken wing.
The driver, Kelly Hodge, 34, and passenger Tammy Root both sustained minor scratches and bruises, police said. Root was taken to a local hospital for treatment and released, authorities said.
Most of the fish lived and the octopus appeared unharmed, officials said. The octopus and fish were traveling in plastic bags, and some fish died when their bags burst, Buchanan said.
The two zoo employees were transporting the animals from the Indianapolis Zoo to one in Galveston. The driver swerved, overcorrected and rolled the truck into a ditch alongside U.S. 59 at about 4:30 a.m., Buchanan said.
The penguins were traveling in heavy tubs which broke open the truck's trailer. While cars hit three penguins in the road, troopers succeeded in corralling the others into the roadside ditch, Buchanan said.
Workers from the Caldwell Zoo in nearby Tyler assisted officers in chasing down penguins and rescuing endangered fish.
Authorities contacted a local chemical company, which brought a refrigerator trailer for the animals, which were taken for care to the Caldwell Zoo, Buchanan said.
The zoo's executive director Hayes Caldwell said the animals were treated and sent on to Galveston by mid-afternoon Tuesday.
"They were doing remarkably well for what they had been through," he said.
R.I.P. to the
three four poor little penguins. :(
EDIT: Newer stories report that four penguins died; one in the initial wreck and the three hit by cars. Boo.
8.9.06 - 2:20 p.m.