London Zoo says it’s devastated after an aardvark died in a hearth that broke out early on Saturday morning.
4 meerkats are additionally lacking following the hearth that begun within the zoo’s Animal Journey part earlier than spreading to a store. The zoo stated it was now presuming they’d died as properly.
The fireplace, which started at round 6am, is underneath management, however the zoo has been shut all day.
“Sadly our vets have confirmed the loss of life of our nine-year-old aardvark, Misha. There are additionally 4 meerkats nonetheless unaccounted for, however we at the moment are presuming these have additionally died,” a zoo assertion stated.
“All different animals within the neighborhood are being monitored intently by our vets, however early indicators counsel they haven’t been affected. We are going to proceed to watch them over the approaching days.
“We’re all naturally devastated by this, however are immensely grateful to the hearth brigade, who reacted rapidly to the state of affairs to deliver the hearth underneath management.”
Greater than 70 firefighters battled the blaze at its top, after zookeepers and workers, a lot of whom dwell on web site, rushed to the scene to assist transfer animals away.
The London Ambulance Service stated it handled eight individuals on the scene, six for smoke inhalation and two for minor accidents. A kind of handled was taken to hospital.
Animal Journey features a petting zoo space, and in an preliminary assertion London Zoo stated an aardvark was unaccounted for. Later the zoo confirmed that Misha had died within the fireplace, and 4 meerkats had been unaccounted for.
The zoo’s director common Dominic Jermey stated workers had been “utterly devastated on a private degree” for the lack of Misha, a “extremely popular animal with us, with everybody who loves London Zoo”.
He stated that the emotional impression of the hearth upon workers was “simply huge”, including that it was thought all different animals within the zoo had been OK. The reason for the hearth isn’t but identified.
London Fireplace Brigade’s David George stated that when crews arrived they had been confronted with a “very properly developed fireplace”.
“They labored extremely laborious in arduous circumstances to deliver it underneath management as rapidly as attainable and to cease it from spreading to neighbouring animal enclosures,” he stated. “Crews will stay on the scene all through the morning damping down any remaining pockets of fireplace.”
In its assertion, London Zoo stated the zoo would reopen on Christmas Eve. “It’s too quickly to take a position on the reason for the hearth however we can be working very intently with fireplace investigators over the approaching days and weeks to establish the trigger.”