NEWS
24/12/2017 11:27 GMT | Updated 24/12/2017 12:02 GMT

London Zoo Fire: ZSL Reopens On Christmas Eve After Blaze That Killed Aardvark

Four meerkats are presumed dead.

ZSL London Zoo reopened on Christmas Eve after a blaze which killed an aardvark.

The zoo has confirmed the death of nine-year-old Misha the aardvark and said four meerkats who shared an enclosure with her are presumed dead.

The fire broke out at approximately 6am on Saturday in the Animal Adventure section of the zoo, and spread to an adjacent shop.

ZSL/PA
Misha the nine-year-old aardvark lost her life in the blaze 

Dominic Jermey, director general for ZSL, said: “We are absolutely devastated that Misha has passed away.

“We had our vet team on site immediately but sadly there was nothing that they could do for Misha.”

Keepers who live on site were on the scene immediately after the fire broke out and started moving animals to safety.

Some of the staff were treated for smoke inhalation and shock at the scene.

PA Wire/PA Images
Firefighters at the scene of the blaze, which broke out on Saturday 

Jermey said: “Given the circumstances they are fine but they, like all of us, are absolutely devastated by this incident today.”

More than 70 firefighters attended the incident, which was brought under control by 9.16am.

All other animals in the vicinity of the blaze are being monitored by vets, and early signs suggest they have not been affected.

London Fire Brigade station manager David George said it is not currently known what caused the fire.

He said: “Over the next few hours our specialist fire investigation teams will be searching through the debris and looking and seeing if they can establish a likely cause for the fire.”