LONDON — More than 70 firefighters battled a blaze at the London Zoo early Saturday that engulfed a cafe, killed at least one animal — an aardvark — and left some staff members suffering from smoke inhalation, the zoo said.
Four meerkats were missing, a spokeswoman for the zoo said.
The zoo, in Regent’s Park in central London, will remain closed until possibly Sunday.
The fire broke out shortly after 6 a.m. local time in the Animal Adventure section, the zoo said in a statement, near an area where visitors feed the animals,
Half a nearby petting zoo and an adjacent gift shop and cafe were destroyed, according to the London Fire Brigade.
Staff members from the zoo quickly moved animals like llamas and camels to safety, and the fire was brought under control after 9 a.m.
“A number of zoo staff have been treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and shock,” the zoo said. “Our staff are now in the process of assessing the situation in difficult conditions.”
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