London Zoo fire: Animals rescued, except one aardvark

  • 24/12/2017

London Zoo has been closed and an aardvark is dead after a blaze ripped through a cafe and shop near an animal petting area.

Ten fire engines and 72 firefighters were called early on Saturday to battle the fire, which the London Fire Brigade said was brought under control in about three hours.

Staff who live on site immediately started moving animals to safety, the zoo said in a statement, adding that a number of zoo staff were treated for smoke inhalation and shock.

"The fire mainly affected the cafe and shop," fire brigade station manager Clive Robinson said in a statement. "Part of a nearby animal petting area was also affected although at this stage we don't know if any animals were involved."

Four meerkats remain unaccounted for, the zoo said. Misha the aardvark was killed.

The fire brigade said that about three-quarters of the Adventure cafe and shop and half of the roof were burnt.

London Zoo said on Twitter that it would be closed on Saturday until further notice.