Animals feared dead after fire at London Zoo

Firefighters work at London Zoo
Firefighters work at London Zoo
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An aardvark has died and four meerkats are missing after a fire at London Zoo.

A number of staff were treated for smoke inhalation and shock after the blaze at the cafe and shop near the meerkat enclosure.

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

Duty staff who live on site were on the scene immediately, and started moving animals to safety, a spokeswoman for the zoo said.

Seventy-two firefighters attended the incident and the fire was brought under control by 9.16am.

Photographs posted on social media showed orange flames rising from the building, before they were doused causing billowing smoke to be scene from beyond the site.

London Fire Brigade Station Manager Clive Robinson who is attending the incident said: "The fire mainly affected the cafe and shop. Part of nearby animal petting area was also affected.

"Firefighters worked hard to bring the fire under control as quickly as possible and to stop it from spreading to neighbouring animal enclosures. Crews will remain at the scene throughout the morning damping down any remaining pockets of fire."

A spokeswoman for the zoo added: "We are immensely grateful to the fire brigade, who reacted quickly to the situation to bring the fire under control.

"The zoo will remain closed until further notice, and we will work closely with fire investigators to determine the cause of the incident."