Aardvark Dead And Four Meerkats Missing In Huge Blaze At London Zoo
An aardvark has died and four meerkats are missing after a huge blaze broke out at London Zoo this morning.
Eight people have also been injured trying to fight the fire, after ten fire engines and 72 firefighters spent two hours tackling the inferno.
The London Fire Brigade was called out at 6.08am to the zoo grounds after smoke was seen billowing from the Adventure Cafe and Shop, according to The Sun.
Images on social media showed the plumes of smoke rising from the zoo earlier today as firefighters worked away at the blaze.
However, the zoo confirmed that Misha the aardvark has died, and four meerkats are still ‘unaccounted for’.
The situation was so desperate that zookeepers reportedly risked their lives by smashing enclosure glass to get to the meerkats and save them.
The blaze has caused untold tragedy and sadness among the zoo staff.
London Ambulance Service Assistant Director of Operations Peter Rhodes said:
We treated eight patients at the scene, six for smoke inhalation and two for minor injuries.
One of those treated has been taken to a hospital in north west London.
A London Zoo spokesperson said:
ZSL London Zoo can confirm that at approximately 6am on Saturday 23 December a fire broke out in the Animal Adventure section of the Zoo, and spread to an adjacent shop.
Duty staff that live on site at the zoo were on the scene immediately, and started moving animals to safety.
The London Fire Brigade were on the scene within minutes and the fire was brought under control by 9.16am.
In a statement on their website the fire brigade said:
Ten fire engines and 72 firefighters and officers have been called to a fire at a café and shop at London Zoo.
Approximately three quarters of an adventure café and shop and half of the roof is currently alight.
An animal petting area is nearby. It is not known if any animals are involved at this stage.
The Brigade was called at 0608. Fire crews from Kentish Town, Paddington, Euston, West Hampstead and other surrounding fire stations are at the scene.
The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.