Fire breaks out at Chester Zoo, England

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Monday, December 17, 2018

A fire occurred on Saturday at Chester Zoo in Cheshire, UK, in a building the zoo says is the largest indoor zoological exhibit in the UK, at 11:30 a.m. local time (UTC). The only injury reported was a case of smoke inhalation. Some of the animals living there died.

File photo of Sumatran orangutans, one of the species that lived in the the affected area.
Image: Rufus46.

Chester Zoo opened in the early 1930s. It is now home to around 21 thousand animals from 500 species. Nearly two million people annually visit Chester Zoo, reportedly the largest annual draw of any zoo in the UK not in London. However, the fire caused it to shut down on Saturday.

The monsoon forest habitat, where the fire occurred, housed, amongst other creatures, crocodiles, orangutans, macaques, and birds. In an attempt to replicate the conditions of South East Asia, it was kept at a temperature of 26.6°C (about 80°F). Reports passed on by witnesses indicated zoo personnel evaluated at least 40 animals from the area. The zoo reopened on Sunday.

Although all the mammals reportedly survived, some of the frogs, insects, and small birds housed there died. The fire spread very quickly and strong winds helped the fire spread so fast. Reports suggested the fire was caused by an electrical fault.

Related news

"England: Fire at London Zoo kills aardvark, meerkats believed dead" — Wikinews, December 24, 2017

Sources

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