Remembering Waffles the giraffe – Reston Zoo devastated by fire


A giraffe at Roer’s Zoofari in Reston, named Waffles, and his companion giraffe were found dead on the night of March 8, 2021 after a fire damaged a barn at the neighborhood zoo.


 “Waffles was a favorite with our visitors and our team. We are heartbroken,” said Vanessa Roer. Waffles was a popular animal amongst Northern Virginians. The giraffe was also a best man in Rachel Rozner’s wedding.


 Zoo staff members and veterinarians assisted in the rescue and care of about 20 other animals housed in the area of the barn, according to Roer’s statement. The zoo remained closed until March 12, 2020 due to the damages. They are slowly reopening.


A spokesperson for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department told Reston Now that an investigation on the cause of the fire and the extent of damages is underway. The news saddened Restonites and made national headlines.


 According to Roer, 20 other animals were rescued after the fire demolished almost one-third of the barn. Workers believe that the fire may have been caused by a heater used to keep animals warm in the barn overnight.


Three macaws were taken to Leesburg Wild Animal Park Monday night after the zoo’s veterinarian ruled out any signs of smoke inhalation. All other animals were relocated inside the zoo.


There was a memorial to waffles the giraffe outside the entrance of the zoo. People have been leaving flowers in memoriam to the giraffe.