An early-morning fire at London Zoo on Saturday has resulted in the death of a nine-year-old Aardvark.
The animal – native to Africa – was named Misha; the fire broke out at Animal Adventure section of the zoo which houses the likes of meerkats, alpacas, goats, pigs, and rabbits.
Misha the aardvark has died in the fire at London zoo. This is horrible. A picture of her with her best friend Kiyo in happier times. RIP Misha pic.twitter.com/amPIjhS6pR
— Felicity Morse (@FelicityMorse) December 23, 2017
The organisation added in a statement: “There are also four meerkats unaccounted for at this stage.”
ZSL London Zoo is currently dealing with an incident on site after a fire broke out. We’d like to reassure you that the fire is now under control. The Zoo will be closed today until further notice. We will update as quickly as the situation allows.
— ZSL London Zoo (@zsllondonzoo) December 23, 2017
It was furthermore highlighted that several zoo-keepers were being treated for “shock and smoke inhalation”.
The London Fire Brigade were on the scene within minutes and the fire was brought under control by 9.16am.
“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’s statement continued.
— Paul Wood (@PaulWood1961) December 23, 2017
The zoo was closed on Saturday as investigators remained on site; it is not currently known what caused the fire.
It took more than 70 firefighters more than three hours to bring the fire under control, the London Fire Brigade said.
Fire officer Clive Robinson explained: “The fire mainly affected the cafe and shop. Part of nearby animal petting area was also affected.
Sad news from this morning's #LondonZoo fire. Our thoughts are with all @zsllondonzoo staff. Firefighters will be leaving the scene shortly and you can read details of the fire here https://t.co/VqBLKK6gMj. For #LondonZoo updates follow @zsllondonzoo https://t.co/Vdd6ynxDz1
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) December 23, 2017
“Firefighters worked hard to bring the fire under control as quickly as possible and to stop it from spreading to neighbouring animal enclosures.
“Crews will remain at the scene throughout the morning damping down any remaining pockets of fire.”