UPDATE: BGC releases statement regarding museum and playground closure

UPDATE: 

Brookshire Grocery Company released a statement regarding the recent closure of its museum and playground.

According to the statement, "There are no plans for the Brookshire’s museum and playground located on Old Jacksonville Highway to permanently close."

The company further states that the closure is in reaction to the recent ammonia leak, and although OSHA has given the all-clear to reopen, the company plans extensive proactive measures to make sure the building is safe.

The Brookshire’s museum and playground are too big a part of Tyler, Smith County and East Texas not to reopen. We appreciate our friends, neighbors and community’s patience and understanding as we pursue every avenue to ensure their safety on all future visits.

There is no date when the attraction will reopen. Stay with CBS19 for updates.

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Brookshire's World of Wildlife Museum & Country Store has closed indefinitely, according to the museum's Facebook page.

"Our museum and playground are currently closed, and we are unable to take additional tour and party reservations at this time," the page says. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you."

It's unclear why the museum closed, or when - or whether - it will reopen.

The museum dates back to the 1970s, when it was established by Brookshire Grocery Co. founders Wood T. and Louise Brookshire, "who loved the outdoors and wildlife." A news release stated that the museum includes "more than 450 animals from various regions of the world, and is divided into regions, taking guests on a journey of different areas of Africa and the arctic."

"The World of Wildlife Museum was created by our founders to be an educational facility," Brookshire Grocery Company then-CEO Rick Rayford said in a news release in 2013, when the playground was expanded. "We continue to offer the museum as a free service to the community because it was their vision for a place where children could come to learn and have fun.

This story is developing and will be updated.

Tyler Morning Telegraph

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