AN ANIMAL has died and four others have gone missing after a huge fire broke out at London Zoo.
One aardvark, Misha, died in the blaze and a spokesperson for the zoo has confirmed four meerkats are currently missing.
A number of zoo staff were treated for smoke inhalation and shock because of the incident, which was reported to emergency services just after 6am and attended by 72 firefighters and 10 fire engines.
Speaking after Misha’s death was confirmed, a spokesperson for the zoo said: ‘All other animals in the vicinity are being monitored closely by our vets, but early signs suggest they have not been affected. We will continue to monitor them over the coming days.
‘We are all naturally devastated by this, but are immensely grateful to the fire brigade who reacted quickly to the situation to bring the fire under control.
‘It’s too soon to speculate on the cause of the fire but we will be working very closely with investigators over the coming days and weeks to ascertain the cause.
‘The zoo will be closed for the day and fire crews will remain on site for some time damping down.
‘We will aim to re-open when we know it is safe to do so for animals, staff and visitors.’
Duty staff who live on-site worked to bring animals to safety immediately after the fire started.
London Fire Brigade station manager Clive Robinson, who is at the zoo, said: ‘The fire mainly affected the cafe and shop. ‘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, damping down any remaining pockets of fire.’