Visitors return to Little Ponderosa Zoo

CLINTON, Tenn. (WATE) - Nearly one week after an accidental electric fire, the Little Ponderosa Zoo announced it will begin clean-up and rebuilding Monday. 

The zoo will temporarily re-open on Saturday, Dec. 30, and will operate with its normal business hours. 

A list of animals killed in the fire includes goats, reptiles, and monkeys among many more animals. 

Related: Deputies: Fire at Little Ponderosa Zoo was accidental, electrical

For the first time Sunday, a few visitors were allowed to return to the zoo.

"It's really a special place because it's hands on except for the dangerous meat eaters," said 10-year-old Lescola

She's visiting today for the first time since the devastating barn fire last Monday.

"Oh I just instantly lost it, said Tally Gray, another visitor. "[I] just started crying." 

That's what most visitors say they felt when they heard about the fire. 

"We know we lost, we know we've been hit, but we're not gonna be defeated," James Cox, the zoo's owner, said.

"That's one reason we come today," said Renee Hill, Lescola's grandmother. "The end of our grieving, onto the new, bigger and better." 

Support from the community has been overwhelming, including dog food, hay and supplies.

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