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WATCH: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance employee saves endangered birds from Maui fire

maui bird conservation center fire rescue
Posted at 8:41 AM, Aug 12, 2023

MAUI, Hawaii (KGTV) — A San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance employee in Maui saved the lives of rare birds when a recent fire threatened the conservation center.

A security camera video shared with ABC 10News shows conservationist Jennifer Pribble jumping into action. In the video, you can see Pribble, in the red shirt, and a nearby neighbor attack the flames with fire extinguishers.

The duo then pulled out a garden hose to keep the fire under control, which they managed to do until fire crews arrived on the scene.

“In that moment, our instincts kicked in and we knew what we had to do," Pribble said. "The goal was to keep the fire from spreading toward the aviaries. We appreciate the work of the neighbors who jumped in, and the fire fighters who have been out front keeping the fire at bay so we can continue to focus on the birds.”

All the endangered birds and staff at the Maui Bird Conservation Center are safe.

A zoo spokesperson said the conservation center is working to release birds back into the wild once avian malaria is under control and their native habitats are more suitable for them.

The fire had started in the forest directly across the street, when a power line fell and sparked it. The spokesperson also told ABC 10News firefighters are planning to stay for a couple more days to make sure the fire stays under control and away from the center.

You can learn more about the MBCC, as well as the wildlife alliance's other global efforts, here.