Over 30 Animals Burned Alive In Devastating Germany Zoo Fire On New Year's Eve

Over 30 Animals Burned Alive In Devastating Germany Zoo Fire On New Year's Eve

Paper sky lanterns may have been the reason for the fire that burned down Krefeld Zoo's Ape House, according to reports.

Image Source: Getty Images (Creative)

There were dozens of animals that burned to death at a German zoo after a devastating fire broke out in the Ape House on New Year's Eve. There were casualties reported amongst monkeys, apes, and birds after a major fire broke out in Krefeld Zoo. Krefeld Zoo is located in the city of Krefeld, Germany, and it specializes in the management of primates, carnivores, fauna from the African savanna and tropical birds.



It came to attention a little after midnight when police and firefighters responded to a call from the zoo. They heard that the Ape House had been burnt down already due to "the basic scaffolding", as reported by the zoo's Facebook page on Tuesday. Over 30 animals were feared dead during the unfortunate incident. CBS News reports that the zoo confirmed several monkeys, five orangutans, two gorillas, fruit bats, and birds.



Bally and Limbo, two of the zoo's chimpanzees survived the fire and only sustained minor injuries. The Zoo's website reported that the two chimps are currently being housed in the Gorilla garden where they are receiving care from zoo veterinarians. The Gorilla garden, though near the Ape House, did not catch on fire. 

โ€œItโ€™s close to a miracle that Bally, a 40-year-old female chimpanzee, and Limbo, a younger male, survived this inferno,โ€ Wolfgang Dressen, the zoo director, told CBS News. Dressen added that the entire incident was "an unfathomable tragedy", one which the zoo will have to "seriously work through the mourning process."



Police told CBS after an investigation that the blaze may be been ignited due to the fire-lit paper lanterns that people launched into the sky on New Year's Eve. โ€œPeople reported seeing those sky lanterns flying at low altitude near the zoo and then it started burning,โ€ Gerd Hoppman, a Krefeld police officer, said. However, it was noted that these sorts of lanterns are in fact illegal in Krefeld as well as in many other parts of Germany.  Investigators say they found used lanterns near the burnt down enclosure of the zoo, which confirmed the same.



In the aftermath of this terrible accident, the zoo has begun to recover from the devastating experience. The authorities are responding to the "overwhelming wave of compassion and assistance' and hope that the public will continue to donate to help keep the apes safe in the future. The zoo is set to reopen Thursday with the construction of a new Ape House. 


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