Search

Aardvark and four meerkats perish in London zoo blaze

PUBLISHED: 09:23 24 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:27 24 December 2017

A spokesman for the zoo confirmed the death of Misha the aardvark.  Four meerkats who are unaccounted for. Picture: ZSL/PA Wire.

A spokesman for the zoo confirmed the death of Misha the aardvark. Four meerkats who are unaccounted for. Picture: ZSL/PA Wire.

Staff at London zoo said they are devastated that several animals perished when a fire broke out at the attraction in Regents Park yesterday.

Smoke rises from the Adventure cafe and shop near the Meerkat enclosure at London Zoo following a fire earlier Saturday.  Photo. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire Smoke rises from the Adventure cafe and shop near the Meerkat enclosure at London Zoo following a fire earlier Saturday. Photo. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The zoo, due to reopen today Christmas Eve, confirmed that nine-year-old Misha the aardvark had died during the blaze and four meerkats, who remain unaccounted for, are also 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.

Dominic Jermey, director general for the Zoological Society of London, told the Press Association: “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.”

A zoo spokeswoman said the four meerkats, who are unaccounted for as a result of limited access to the site, were presumed dead.

She said the zoo, which was closed on Saturday, would reopen on Christmas Eve.

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.

Mr 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 told the Press Association: “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.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 18:44

Kindhearted staff at the Shelter boutique in South End Green have now reunited the wad of $100 dollar notes with the pensioner who it belonged to - after tracking her down via her gift aid form.

Yesterday, 17:47

A West Hampstead Labour councillor believes a culture change is necessary after he spoke out about a culture of “obsessional Jew-baiting and Israel bashing.”

Yesterday, 12:11

A consultation has been launched on plans to bring a specialist school for young people with autism to Haringey.

Yesterday, 08:52

An 18-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder following two fatal stabbings in Kentish Town.

Thu, 17:33

A fire engine was left marooned for nine hours at East Finchley Allotment, home to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s vegetable patch, after it responded to a fire on Thursday morning.

Thu, 17:00

The chief executive of a secular pressure group has backed under-fire inner north London senior coroner Mary Hassell, saying “religion shouldn’t be a trump card.”

Thu, 16:17

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is in jail because of an argument between Britain and Iran, campaigners claim.

Thu, 10:12

There will be no police dogs patrolling Hampstead Heath following a cost-cutting exercise, the Ham&High can reveal.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Melange, with locations in Barnet and Crouch End, has opened a third in Belsize Park. Here co-owner Justina Markauskaite talks about removing the borders between cuisines and why they put family at the centre of everything they do

Less is More, a group exhibition at the Daniel Raphael Gallery will feature emerging artists from England, Italy, France and the Czech Republic, from January 24 to February 16.

For people who suffer with feet problems, it is often difficult to find footwear that is both comfortable and stylish. There is a shop in the West End dedicated to changing that.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now