Oatland Island Wildlife Center holds grand re-opening


SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -Saturday was a big day for Oatland Island Wildlife Center as the center held their grand re-opening. The Wildlife Center was one of the hardest areas hit when a EF-1 tornado ripped through Chatham County five months ago.

“I think we were expecting a good crowd, but I had no idea it was going to be like this," said Annie Quinting, the event coordinator for Oatland Island. "We’re happy. I just hope we find enough parking for everyone.”

Crowds of people made their way into Oatland Island on Saturday to take a look around after the center was forced to close.

“We had to close because the tornado did extensive damage," said Quinting. "We have been recovering ever since.”

Quinting says this is the third storm in row that the wildlife center has had to recover from. She says the fox and deer exhibits are almost completely fixed but it will be quite a while before the bobcat exhibit will be back up and running.

"We still have some work to do. Several of our animal exhibits are still closed because they are not quite ready yet."

As far as the rest of the center is concerned, everything is put back into place or has been repaired. Guests got to enjoy the trails, live music, animal encounters, and food trucks. The Heritage Homesite is also repaired.

Quinting says they are just extremely thankful for the people and businesses that reached out to them over the past few months. She says it really shows how much the community supports Oatland Island.

“I like knowing that everyone causes about Oatland still because we have been open for a long time, but we don’t always see that many people, but the grand re-opening shows that a lot of people still support Oatland,” said Samantha Butler, a volunteer at the Center.

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