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Chester Zoo Confirms A Number Of Animals Died In Heartbreaking Fire

Chester Zoo Confirms A Number Of Animals Died In Heartbreaking Fire

A fire ripped through the Monsoon Forest area of the zoo on Saturday.

Rachel Andrews

Rachel Andrews

Chester Zoo has confirmed that a number of animals have died in a blaze that ripped through one of the enclosures at the weekend.

Some exotic animals including insects, frogs, fish and small birds are said to have been killed in the devastating fire at the Monsoon Forest area.

All mammals, including critically endangered Sumatran orangutans, macaques and gibbons as well as crocodiles, turtles and exotic birds were rescued and moved to safety while firefighters worked tirelessly to put the flames out. No staff or visitors were harmed, said the zoo.

A group of six orangutans, four gibbons and 18 macaques were led away from the flames by keeps waving bananas for them.

Images show the damage caused by the blaze.
PA Images

The Sumatran orangutans, who are not used to icy December weather, then wrapped themselves up in blankets, which is a kind of 'comfort' behaviour.

Chester Zoo's Monsoon Forest has its own tropical weather climate, recreating conditions similar to those in South East Asia for the animals inside.

A cause of the fire has not yet been identified but an investigation is underway.

An appeal has since raised more than £120,000 in donations after the blaze on Saturday.

Jamie Christon, Chester Zoo's chief operating officer, said keepers were "completely overwhelmed" by the generosity of those donating.

An appeal has raised over £120,000.
PA Images

"It's absolutely heartbreaking to lose any animal, especially when conservationists have worked so hard to breed these wonderful species," he said.

"New homes have been found within the zoo for all of the animals that were led to safety and our teams are working around the clock to relocate them as soon as possible."

Endangered orangutans and other mammals were saved by keepers.
PA Images

Jamie continued: "The strength and support from the public has been incredibly overwhelming and the messages of goodwill have been of great comfort to our teams.

"We will support each other in rebuilding this part of the zoo and continue our mission of preventing extinction."

The zoo is home to more than 21,000 animals, and plays a crucial part in wildlife conservation of endangered animals.

You can donate to Chester Zoo following the fire here.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: Life News, News, Chester Zoo, Real, Animals