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We're devastated by loss of animals; CHESTER ZOO REVEALS CASUALTIES OF BLAZE.

Byline: REBECCA KONCIENZCY, CARMELLA DE LUCIA and RACHAEL MCMENEMY ECHO Reporters rebecca.koncienzcy@trinitymirror.com @RDKONCIENZCY

CHESTER Zoo has released details of the "small number of species" that died following the devastating blaze on Saturday.

The fire broke out during opening hours at 11.30am on December 15, leading to the evacuation of customers and animals.

Sadly, some of the animals did not survive, and the team at Chester Zoo have given further information regarding the deaths.

Breeds including question mark cockroaches, Amano shrimps, betta hendra fish, cinnamon frogs, tentacled snakes and grosbeak starlings died when flames ripped through the Monsoon forest enclosure.

In statement released yesterday afternoon, the zoo confirmed details of the "small number of species we were unable to save".

The zoo's chief operating officer, Jamie Christon, said: "Saturday was one of the toughest days in Chester Zoo's long history. The remarkable efforts from the zoo team and the emergency services meant the fire was extinguished as quickly as possible and all visitors safely evacuated. "All of our mammal species - such as critically endangered Sumatran orang-utans, Sulawesi macaques, endangered silvery gibbons and even birds such as rhinoceros hornbills were led to safety by our conservationists in partnership with the emergency services.

"However, now that our teams have started to assess the site, we are devastated to confirm the small number of species that we were unable to save. These include a number of question mark cockroaches, Amano shrimps, betta hendra fish, cinnamon frogs, tentacled snakes and birds such as grosbeak starlings.

"These animals were all part of conservation breeding programmes and we will look to be part of those vital projects once again in the near future.

"In a more positive light, new homes have been found within the zoo for all of the animals that were led to safety and our teams are working around the clock to relocate those animals and get them settled. The investigation into the fire and its cause is ongoing, and we will continue to work hand-in-hand with the relevant authorities in the coming days and weeks."

At its height, around 75 firefighters battled the blaze, which caused significant damage to the entrance area and first-floor visitors walkway. A Just Giving fund set up to help the zoo with recovery costs has already amassed a huge PS129,970.

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The fire at Chester Zoo on Saturday

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 18, 2018
Words:396
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