Aardvark killed in fire at London Zoo

Saul Bowman
December 24, 2017

An aardvark was killed and four meerkats are missing believed dead after a blaze tore through part of London Zoo early on Saturday, destroying a cafe and gift shop.

The area also contains a petting zoo and four meerkats are also unaccounted for.

A number of staff at the ZSL London Zoo were also treated for smoke inhalation and shock after the blaze tore through the Animal Adventure area, a children's petting zone, zoo officials said in a statement published on its website.

The zoo will be closed Saturday.

"Approximately three quarters of an adventure cafe and shop and half of the roof is now alight".

London Zoo said in a statement: "We have keepers living on site and they, along with our security team, responded incredibly quickly to move animals to safe locations within their enclosures".


A spokesperson for the zoo confirmed animals were in the vicinity but did not comment on their safety.

"We are all naturally devastated by this, but are immensely grateful to the fire brigade, who reacted quickly to the situation to bring the fire under control".

The tweet said: "ZSL London Zoo is now dealing with an incident on site after a fire broke out". It said it hoped to reopen on Sunday.

"When they arrived our crews were faced with a very well developed fire".

It is not known what started the fire.

At its worst, the flames spread to a shop and at one point, 70 firefighters were on the scene battling the fire, which sent one person to the hospital.

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