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1 Jan, 2020 13:50

New Year’s fire at German zoo kills all but TWO animals inside monkey sanctuary (VIDEO)

New Year’s fire at German zoo kills all but TWO animals inside monkey sanctuary (VIDEO)

A fire reportedly caused by New Year’s Eve fireworks burnt down the monkey house at a zoo in Germany, killing all but two of the chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas inside. More than 30 animals died in the horrific blaze.

Krefeld Zoo announced that it had suffered an “unfathomable tragedy” on New Year’s Eve, after its monkey sanctuary “burned down to the foundation.” Fruit bats and birds were also killed in the accident, according to media reports.

The zoo initially reported no survivors, but later confirmed that "like a miracle" two chimpanzees named Bally and Limbo had survived the devastating blaze. Five orangutans, one chimpanzee and two gorillas, along with other smaller monkey species died. 

Luckily, the zoo said a nearby exhibit – which houses a gorilla and his family – escaped unscathed.

A Ruptly video shows firefighters rushing toward the building as flames engulf what remains of the structure. With the fire extinguished, an emergency worker can be seen peering into the sanctuary’s charred remains, perhaps in hopes of finding a furry survivor.

It is not yet clear exactly what sparked the fire, but witnesses reported seeing paper lanterns with lit flames (which are illegal in Germany) in the sky near the Krefeld zoo after midnight, Gerd Hoppmann, Krefeld's head of criminal police told reporters.

The zoo thanked the public for the support it had received, but said it was “still in shock” and “cannot yet say exactly if and where help is needed.” It added that for the moment help at the fire site is not possible because the house is "at risk of collapse."

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