Posted: Mon 17th Dec 2018

Chester Zoo gives details on “small number of species” staff were unable to save in Saturday’s fire.

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Dec 17th, 2018

Chester Zoo has said Saturday was one of the toughest days in its 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 the zoo’s mammal species – such as critically endangered Sumatran orangutans, Sulawesi macaques, endangered silvery gibbons and birds such as rhinoceros hornbills were led to safety by staff.

The zoo has released details of those animals which could not be saved.

Jamie Christon, the zoo’s chief operating officer, said in an update this afternoon:

“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.

Our conservationists will continue to move animals into their new habitats over the coming days.

Some species such as the Sunda gharial crocodiles, painted batagur turtles and giant Asian pond turtles remain inside Monsoon Forest in an area unaffected by the fire, and remain in good health.

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.

As a world class visitor attraction, we are fully insured and we will be working with our insurers in the coming weeks as we look to start rebuilding the UK’s largest zoological building, Monsoon Forest.

And finally, the whole Chester Zoo team have been humbled by the incredible amount of support and kindness from the local community, our members, visitors and the general public.

On one of the toughest days in our long history, it reminded us all that the zoo holds a very special place in the hearts of so many of us, and lifted spirits of the whole ”

A Just Giving page set up in the hours after the fire has so far raised £130,000 from well wishers wanting to support the zoo.

The money will go towards the zoo’s conservation efforts.

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