December 24, 2017 / 12:07 PM / 8 months ago

London Zoo reopens after fire that killed aardvark, meerkats

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

A pedestrian walks past an advertising poster featuring meerkats at London Zoo as it reopens following a fire which broke out at a shop and cafe at the attraction, in central London, Britain December 24, 2017. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

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.

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“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 0600 GMT 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.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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