Hopkinton wildlife sanctuary destroyed by fire; nearly 100 birds dead

South County

This article has been corrected to reflect the number of birds that survived the fire.

HOPKINTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A four-alarm fire tore through a Hopkinton animal sanctuary Thursday morning, killing nearly 100 of the 400 exotic birds that lived there.

Firefighters from more than a dozen surrounding communities responded to Foster Parrots and the New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary on Woodville Alton Road and found heavy flames coming from the roof of the building.

The animal sanctuary posted on its Facebook page Thursday afternoon that a third of the building “is in ruins.”

“Staff and volunteers are numb with grief and shock,” the post said.

Deputy State Fire Marshal and Investigator James Given said the other two thirds of the building remains intact.

“Obviously, [they’re] very upset over that and trying to take care of the additional birds that are still alive,” Given said of the sanctuary’s employees and volunteers. “They will be able to continue to house the birds here and rehabilitate them.”

Foster Parrots, according to its website, is the largest avian rescue organization in the Northeast.

Rhode Island Parrot Rescue, another local bird sanctuary, posted on Facebook that they are accepting donations for Foster Parrots outside of their Warwick rescue center.

Supplies needed include bottled water, refrigerators, fresh produce, pelleted food, towels/linen, paper towels, dish soap and large bowls/Tupperware.

They’re also encouraging people to donate to Foster Parrots directly by visiting their website.

Given said the cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time.

“An investigation like this, we have to look at all possibilities,” he explained.

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