Zoo fire in Germany leaves animals dead

A fire that broke out in a German zoo in the early hours of the New Year has killed more than 30 animals, the German Press Agency (dpa) reported on Wednesday, calling it “one of the worst zoo accidents in decades.”

The fire in the zoo of the west German city Krefeld might be triggered by a sky lantern that has first set the roof of the monkey house on fire, local media quoted police as saying. Police are currently investigating into the accident.

Among the animals killed in the fire were orangutans, gorillas and smaller monkeys such as golden tamarins and pygmy marmosets, as well as fruit bats and birds.

Two chimpanzees survived the fire and were anesthetized and moved to a neighboring house.

The zoo, home to almost 200 species and a total of around 1,000 animals, has over 400,000 visitors a year and 75 employees. The monkey house was opened in 1975, with a floor area of 2,000 square meters.