London Zoo reopens after fire that killed aardvark, meerkats

Visitors queue to enter the reopened London Zoo a day after a fire.
Visitors queue to enter the reopened London Zoo a day after a fire. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - London Zoo reopened on Sunday (Dec 24), a day after a fire that killed an aardvark and likely four meerkats and which left staff suffering from smoke inhalation and shock.

The Zoo said an initial post mortem showed the aardvark named Misha most likely died from smoke inhalation whilst sleeping, while the four meerkats unaccounted for were presumed to have died.

"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," ZSL London Zoo said in a statement on Sunday.

"After consultation with fire experts attending yesterday, we are able to safely open the zoo today."

The fire broke out shortly after 6am (2pm Singapore time) on Saturday in the Animal Adventure section before spreading to a shop and cafe at the site in Regent's Park in central London.

The zoo, which dates from 1826, said it was too soon to speculate on the cause of the fire.