Aardvark killed in London zoo fire
(5 months ago)
London, Dec 23 : A fire hit the London Zoo on Saturday morning, forcing the closure of the zoo and killing a nine-year-old aardvark -- a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal native to Africa, the zoo said in a statement on its website.
The fire started shortly after 6 a.m. in the Animal Adventure section and then spread to the adjacent shop, Xinhua news agency reported, quoting the statement.
Local media say it took over 70 firefighters about three hours to tame the fire under control, and eight people needed medical treatment at the scene for smoke inhalation and minor injuries, while one person was sent to hospital.
Despite a desperate move by the keepers living on site to transfer the animals to safety, the zoo still suffered a loss of its animal residents.
"Sadly our vets have confirmed the death of our nine-year-old aardvark, Misha. There are also four meerkats unaccounted for at this stage," said statement.
The cause of the fire remains unclear. The zoo will be closed for the day.