A fire overnight destroyed the monkey sanctuary at the Krefeld Zoo, killing all the animals inside, the zoo said in a statement on Facebook.
“Our worst fears have become reality,” the zoo said. “There are no surviving animals in the money sanctuary.”
More than 30 animals were killed. A nearby gorilla garden was undamaged.
‘Still in shock’
The zoo said it was thankful for the “numerous offers of help” but that it wasn’t clear yet where they need assistance.
“We are still in shock and cannot yet say exactly if and where help is needed.”
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Searching for the cause
Although authorities have yet to determine the cause, local media reported that it could have been caused by fireworks.
However, a police official told Berlin-based Bild newspaper that the cause may have been sky lanterns, which have been banned in North Rhine-Westphalia since 2009.
Germany is the largest importer of fireworks in the EU. Each year on New Year’s Eve, hundreds of thousands of firework enthusiasts set off light explosives across the country.
The monkey house was created in 1975 and eventually became the home of orangutans, chimpanzees and gorillas, among other animals.
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ls/mm (dpa, AFP)