Every animal inside an ape house at a zoo in Germany has died in a fire reportedly caused by New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Krefeld Zoo, located near the Dutch border, said its “worst fears have become reality” after the overnight blaze, which killed more than 30 animals in total.
In a post on Facebook, the zoo said: “An unfathomable tragedy hit us shortly after midnight. Our ape building burned down to the foundation.”
Image: Firemen inspect the burned-out monkey sanctuary
Image: Local media reported that fireworks caused the blaze
The dpa news agency reported that chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas were among the dead.
Fruit bats and birds also died.
The zoo later confirmed there were no survivors in the monkey sanctuary, but said the nearby Gorilla Garden exhibit escaped unscathed, with popular resident Kidogo and his family alive and well.
It said it was thankful for the offers of assistance, but added: “We are still in shock and cannot yet say exactly if and where help is needed.”
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Local media reported the fire was started by fireworks, but the zoo has not commented on the cause.
Police are investigating and the zoo will remain closed on Wednesday.
Image: Every animal inside the ape house died
Image: The zoo will remain closed on Wednesday
According to Deutsche Welle, the monkey sanctuary had stood since 1975 and was home to orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees and other animals.
One woman who visited the zoo on New Year’s Day said: “We went into every house and looked at all the animals that are outside and of course we were also in the monkey house.
“The new gorilla enclosure has become beautiful and in 2020 an outdoor enclosure for the orangutans was planned and for the chimpanzee forest is also being built. All this is no longer necessary.”
Another local said he was “speechless” that fireworks were still allowed in the vicinity of the zoo and called on city authorities to band them within a mile radius.
The man added: “The animals suffer extremely from these fireworks, they panic and especially the zoo should have been protected.”
Source : Sky News