German monkey sanctuary burns down, leaving no surviving animals

Flames ripping through the monkey house at Krefeld Zoo Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The monkey house was totally destroyed

A German zoo has confirmed that its “worst fears have become a reality” after a fire destroyed its monkey house, leaving no surviving animals.

Krefeld Zoo said its employees are in shock after the building “burned down to the ground”.

The 2000 sq m (6500 sq ft) enclosure housed rare Bornean orangutans, chimpanzees and marmosets, among other animals.

Local media report the fire may have been caused by New Year fireworks.

This has not yet been confirmed.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Changi was one of the orangutans born at the zoo in 2010

The zoo said the Gorilla Garden nearby – which houses western lowland gorillas – was spared.

Kidogo – the gorilla that lives there with his family – is fine, Krefeld Zoo said.

The monkey house was built in 1975 and recreated a tropical climate for rainforest inhabitants, which included fruit bats and free-flying birds, as well as primates.

The zoo thanked people for their “numerous offers” of help.

“We ask for your understanding that we cannot be there for you today,” it said regarding its decision to close on New Years Day.

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