Dozens Of Zoo Animals Killed As Fire Rips Through Monkey Enclosure
Dozens of animals at a zoo in northwestern Germany have been killed after a fire ripped through the monkey enclosure.
Over 30 zoo animals are said to have died after a blaze erupted at Krefeld Zoo, shortly after midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Every single animal residing within Krefeld Zoo’s ape house is said to have died, including orangutans, chimpanzees and marmosets. The building is said have burned down to its basic scaffolding.
The cause of the devastating fire has yet to be confirmed, however local news sources have reported it had potentially been sparked by fireworks.
Firefighters at the scene were fortunately able to stop the flames from spreading to other buildings at the zoo, however they were unable to save the animals trapped within the monkey enclosure.
In a statement made via Facebook, a representative from Krefeld Zoo described the incident as an ‘unbelievable tragedy’:
Our worst fears have been realised. There are no surviving animals in the monkey sanctuary. The Gorilla Garden has been spared. Kidogo and his family are fine.
According to the statement, an investigation into the fire is now underway, with the zoo said to be closed on January 1.
The statement continued:
We thank you for all the numerous offers that have already reached us. Please understand that we [are] still in shock and [can] not tell exactly if and where need help.
Local reports suggested the fire could have been caused by fireworks. However, as reported by German newspaper Bild, head of criminal police in Krefeld, Gerd Poppmann, said sky lanterns could be to blame.
According to Poppmann, the remains of three sky lanterns – which have been illegal since 2009 – were discovered within the charred ruins of the enclosure. A negligent arson investigation is now underway.
Officers are currently analysing the remains of the sky lanterns, which are said to have been labelled by hand. Those who launched the sky lanterns, as well as any witnesses, have now been urged to report to the police.
As well as the loss of their beautiful animals, Krefeld Zoo has also suffered immense property damage, with the sum said to be somewhere in the high double-digit million range.
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