EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) — Health concerns are growing in East Palestine as reports rise of animals getting sick and some even dying. The train derailment is causing struggles not just for the animals, but their owners as well.
Taylor Holzer and his family run Parker Dairy, just outside the original evacuation zone. Holzer is registered with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources as a fox keeper.
A couple of his foxes broke their legs trying to run after the initial derailment. One of his foxes even died.
“Out of nowhere, he just started coughing really hard, just shut down, and he had liquid diarrhea and just went very fast,” says Holzer.
He says all of his foxes have been sick and acting differently since the weekend. Some have abnormally puffy faces and are not eating properly. Many are dealing with stomach issues and are acting lethargic.
“This is not a fox acts. He is very weak, limp. His eyes are very watery and weepy,” says Holzer.
Some of the foxes are pacing rapidly in their pen, which is another sign that they are not well.
Holzer says the train derailment is causing all of these issues.
“Smoke and chemicals from the train, that’s the only thing that can cause it, because it doesn’t just happen out of nowhere,” Holzer says. “The chemicals that we’re being told are safe in the air, that’s definitely not safe for the animals … or people.”
He hopes justice is served for the animals and people of East Palestine.
“People’s cats are getting sick and dying, and people’s other birds that they have in their house that they weren’t being able to evacuate either. It’s just it’s not safe for them,” says Holzer.
Those with animals that have died need to get a necropsy, which determines the cause of death for their animal. For more information, reach out to your vet.