GATLINBURG, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First and foremost we would like to thank the first responders for risking their lives to save our community.
We would also like to thank our dedicated Aquarium team that stayed as late as possible before being forced to evacuate when fires approached the back of our building. We are grateful to have had the police escort our emergency team back into the Aquarium early this morning to check on the well-being of our animals. We have a team of Marine Biologists and Life Support Experts inside the Aquarium and are happy to report that the animals are safe.
Ripley's Aquariums are accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), a non-profit organization dedicated to animal care. We are continuing to monitor the stability of our animals and life support systems. We have Ripley teams in Myrtle Beach and Buffalo on standby to assist our Gatlinburg Husbandry staff if needed. We would also like to thank the many aquariums and zoos that have offered their support.
With eight attractions in Sevier County and over 2 million visitors a year, we are proud members of this community, and we stand with everyone in Gatlinburg during this time. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the safety of all animals, people, their homes, our community, and our employees. The Ripley’s family will be helping in any way possible as we recover from this tragic event.
For the safety of our employees and guests, all of our Attractions will remain closed until the evacuation has lifted.
About Ripley Entertainment
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is part of the Ripley Entertainment Inc. (www.ripleys.com) family of worldwide attractions, the global leader in location-based entertainment. More than 14 million people visit its 95-plus attractions in 11 countries each year. In addition to its 33 Believe It or Not! Odditoriums, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions that oversee projects including the syndicated Believe It or Not! television show, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada.