Santa Barbara Zoo prepares to evacuate as Thomas Fire approaches

The Santa Barbara Zoo closed Sunday to the public as keepers prepare the animals for a possible evacuation because of the massive Thomas Fire. If forced to evacuate, animals will be transported to multiple locations.

Entering its 13th day, the Thomas Fire has scorched 269,000 acres and destroyed 1,020 structures. The wildfire is now the third-largest in California history.

The Santa Barbara Zoo is home to 500 animals including big cats, elephants and gorillas.

Zoo keepers have already transported four endangered California condors, two Griffin vultures and one turkey vulture to the Los Angeles Zoo and its stock of pigs, goats and reindeer to the Earl Warren Showgrounds.

The fire ignited Dec. 1 north of Santa Paula near highways 150 and 126. As of Sunday afternoon, the fire is 40 percent contained.

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