At Least 1 Animal Dead, Others Missing in Zoo Fire

Cause of Saturday's fire at London Zoo is unknown
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2017 2:24 PM CST
Firefighters work at a cafe and gift shop near the meerkat enclosure at the London Zoo, London, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017.   (London Fire Brigade via AP)

(Newser) – A beloved aardvark is dead and four meerkats are missing after a fire tore through part of the London Zoo on Saturday, Reuters reports. The fire mostly damaged a cafe and gift shop but impacted an animal petting area, as well. Misha, a 10-year-old aardvark and one of the most popular animals at the zoo, was killed. Four meerkates are missing. “We’re not certain what has happened to the meerkats, but I‘m not optimistic at this stage, unfortunately," the zoo's director general says. Staff appear to have been successful getting all other animals to safety. One person was hospitalized and eight others were treated at the the scene for smoke inhalation, shock, and minor injuries, according to the BBC. The London Zoo—the oldest scientific zoo in the world and home to over 20,000 animals—plans to reopen Sunday. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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