Chester Zoo is back open today following a large fire at one of its exhibits on Saturday.
Cheshire Fire Service declared a major incident just before 11.30am on Saturday as fire took hold in the roof of the Monsoon Forest habitat, the UK’s largest zoo tropical house.
Visitors were evacuated immediately and the zoo’s response team worked alongside the emergency services to help bring the situation under control.
A zoo spokesperson said the cause of the fire is currently unknown “but we will be helping the relevant authorities with the investigation that will take place over the coming days and weeks.”
Zoo officials say they have been overwhelmed with messages of goodwill following the fire which have been “of great comfort to our teams.”
A spokesperson said:
“Many of you have expressed that you would like to come along to the zoo to show your support, so we are able to confirm that the zoo will be open to visitors tomorrow, Sunday 16 December.
The Monsoon Forest building and Islands zone will remain closed as our conservationists and vets continue to provide expert care and attention for the species there.
The Lanterns event will go ahead this evening, Sunday 16 December as planned.”
The zoo’s teams are now assessing the situation inside Monsoon Forest, critically endangered Sumatran orangutans and other mammals are all accounted for and being looked after by the zoo specialist conservationists and vets.
“We are working hard to account for all other species, such as birds, and move animals to alternative habitats.
Given that this is the UK’s largest zoo tropical house this will take some time.
The zoo’s experts will be working intensively in the coming days and weeks to do this.” The spokesperson added.