The nine-year-old aardvark died and four meerkats are currently missing after a fire broke out in the Animal Adventure Section at the ZSL London Zoo this Saturday. Zoo staff has moved the remaining animals to another shelter after more than a dozen firefighters tried to control the fire during the accident.
“Sadly our vets have confirmed the death of our nine-year-old aardvark, Misha… There are also four meerkats unaccounted for at this stage, and we have limited access to the site to confirm this,” the zoo said.
Aside from Misha the aardvark, the search still continues for the four other missing meerkats. Although the zoo said that that the four missing animals have likely died in the fire as well. The rest of the animals are currently being monitored by vets until the coming days.
Animal Adventure section is a petting zoo area that allows children to experience the animals first-hand. It’s separated into four different sections: Tree Top Zone, Roots Zone, Splash Zone, and Touch Zone. According to ZSL London Zoo statement, the fire broke at around 6 AM on December 23 in the Animal Adventure section, which eventually spread to an adjacent shop.
At least 70 firefighters and fire engines responded to the fire that happened in Regent’s Park shortly after 6:00 A.M. and were declared under control by 9:16 A.M. At least one person was taken to the hospital while 8 others were treated during at the scene during the incident.
ZSL London Zoo director general Dominic Jermy said that the staff was heavily devastated by the accident, especially after it was confirmed that Misha perished in the fire. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
The ZSL London Zoo has been around for almost 200 years and was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles. The zoo was involved in various ecological landmarks including the release of 100 sand gazelles in the Empty Quarter, Saudi Arabia back in 1995. ZSL also partnered with HRH The Duke of Cambridge and other ecological conservation organizations to help address the issues regarding wildlife crime and extinction threats on several species across the world.
The zoo will go back to operations tomorrow, December 24 from 10 A.M.