London Zoo shut after fire kills animal

24 Dec 2017

A fire broke out today at the UK's famous London Zoo in which eight people, including staff, were injured and an aardvark was killed. Four meerkats also remain unaccounted for after the fire ripped through an animal adventure enclosure at one of the world's oldest zoos in the early hours, Zoo officials said. Over 70 firefighters worked for hours to bring the blaze under control, which spread to a cafe that included a petting enclosure and a gift shop near a penguin pool at the back of the site. London Ambulance said paramedics treated eight people at the scene - six for smoke inhalation and two for minor injuries, with one of those treated taken to hospital.
A nine-year-old aardvark, an African nocturnal mammal named Misha, died in the blaze, the Zoo confirmed.
The duty staff who live on site were on the scene "immediately" and started moving animals to safety, it said. "Sadly our vets have confirmed the death of our nine- year-old Aardvark, Misha. There are also four meerkats unaccounted for at this stage, and we have limited access to site to confirm this," a London Zoo statement said. "All other animals in the vicinity are being monitored closely by our vets, but early signs suggest they have not been affected. We will continue to monitor them over the coming days," the statement added. The cause of the fire is not yet known.
The authorities shut the zoo "until further notice". It took about three hours for the firefighters at the popular London tourist attraction in the north-west of the British capital to be brought under control. "Firefighters worked hard to bring the fire under control as quickly as possible and to stop it from spreading to neighbouring animal enclosures," the London Fire Brigade said. London Zoo said that it will work closely with fire investigators to determine the cause of the blaze. (PTI)