Malibu Wine Safaris, home to Khloe Kardashian favorite Stanley the giraffe, has issued a statement following a wave of criticism from celebrities regarding how the facility evacuated its animals in the wake of the devastating Woolsey Fire.
Kardashian, Ariel Winter, Lance Bass and Whitney Cummings all commented on social media about their concerns for the safety of the animals at Malibu Wine Safaris. Cummings went as far as hiring her own exotic vets to check on the animals at the the ranch, posting on her Instagram that she noticed fire damage on the animal enclosures.
On Saturday, Malibu Wine Safaris posted to Stanley the giraffe’s Instagram, saying the beloved animal was all right, but still, celebrities voiced their doubts on social media.
On Wednesday, the facility released a statement on its website that explains the evacuation plan and the current state of the grounds and animals.
Dakota Semler, CEO and founder of Malibu Wine Safaris, starts the statement: “Caring for animals, especially exotic ones, is a very big job,” adding, “we care deeply.”
The statement goes on to assure readers that all animals — minus one sheep — are safe and accounted for after Southern California’s Woolsey Fire burned through the grounds on Friday.
“Since the Woolsey fire took our beloved ranch away, the public rightfully has a lot of questions,” Semler writes before going into a description of Malibu Wine Safaris’ evacuation plan.
According to him, “in addition to giving animals food, water, love and a clean living space,” caregivers are also required by law to have a safe evacuation plan for their animals.
“Malibu Wine’s evacuation plan is designed around the impending threat of wildfires. Our plan was developed with the USDA, and they also helped us train the safari staff through, educational materials,” the statement reads.
That plan is two-fold, according to the statement. During a fire, Malibu Wine Safaris staff is trained to move some animals off the property to a safe location, while other animals, especially larger ones, are to moved to land on the property that is safe from potential fire.
“How did we know this land would be safe from flames? Fortunately, this wide open area at Saddlerock has no trees or brush — and only consists of gravel, dirt and a large lake. Effectively, this barren enclosure has little to no ‘fuel’ to power a fire,” the statement explains.
Based on Semler’s statement, this is the evacuation plan that Malibu Wine followed for the Woolsey Fire. Stanley the giraffe was one of the animals moved to the “barren enclosure,” since trying to transport large animals far distances can lead to injury.
The statement also remarks on a recent photo Malibu Wine posted, which shows the animal surrounded by darkness in a pen.
“The image of Stanley circulating on social media, while very jarring, does not portray the proper context of the situation. The reason we waited to evacuate Stanley is that he was distraught … Behind the camera were over thirty men and women keeping Stanley calm, and assembling the necessary resources to remove him from the premises,” the statement reads.
The ranch has since posted another picture of Stanley at the ranch in which he appears in better spirits.
Semler writes at the end of the statement that enduring the Woolsey Fire has made Malibu Wine feel “humbled to be so fortunate,” also nothing that he is grateful for his team, who “acted swiftly, proactively and pragmatically.”
To read the facility’s full statement on the Woolsey Fire, please visit Malibu Wine Safari’s website.
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