Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Fire Kills at Least 30 Animals at German Monkey House

Animals
Fire Kills at Least 30 Animals at German Monkey House
The monkey house at the Krefeld Zoo in Germany burns on Jan. 1. Alexander Forstreuter / picture alliance via Getty Images

At least 30 animals died early New Year's Day in a fire at a monkey house at a zoo in Krefeld, Germany, The New York Times reported.


The Great Ape House had housed orangutans, chimpanzees, lowland gorillas, rodents, marmosets and birds before it burned down a little after midnight Wednesday.

"Our worst fears have become reality," the zoo wrote in a Facebook post reported by The Guardian.

The zoo originally wrote that all the animals in the enclosure had been killed, but later discovered that two chimpanzees had survived with only light wounds.

"The chimpanzees Bally and Limbo miraculously survived the devastating fire," the zoo said, according to The New York Times.

An open-air gorilla enclosure close to the destroyed monkey house was spared, along with popular silverback Kidogo and his family, The Guardian reported. However, another silverback, 48-year-old Massa, who was the oldest silverback in the European endangered species breeding program, died.

All told, the fire killed five orangutans, one chimpanzee, two gorillas and smaller monkeys and flying foxes, Euronews reported.

"An unbelievable tragedy rolled us shortly after midnight," the zoo wrote of the fire, according to Euronews.

Local residents reported the fire at 12:38 a.m. Wednesday, but firefighters were not able to control the flames before they had consumed all but the scaffolding of the monkey house, according to The Guardian. However, the firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to other zoo buildings, The Local Germany reported.

A video posted on social media showed the fire reaching treetops, according to Euronews.

The zoo remained closed Wednesday and Thursday.

"[W]e would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming wave of compassion and offers of help that reach us online and offline," the zoo wrote when it announced Thursday's closure.

Police are investigating the fire, and think it might have been caused by sky lanterns that were released into the air to celebrate the New Year.

"People reported seeing those sky lanterns flying at low altitude near the zoo and then it started burning," Gerd Hoppmann, the head of Krefeld's criminal police, told BBC News.

Used lanterns were also found near the enclosure.

It is illegal to sell the lanterns in every German state except Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in the east, The Guardian reported.

The enclosure was built in 1975 and measured 21,500 square feet, according to BBC News. It was designed to mimic a tropical rainforest environment.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock" — an estimate of how close humanity is to the apocalypse — remains at 100 seconds to zero for 2021. Eva Hambach / AFP / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

One hundred seconds to midnight. That's how close humanity is to the apocalypse, and it's as close as the world has ever been, according to Wednesday's annual announcement from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group that has been running its "Doomsday Clock" since the early years of the nuclear age in 1947.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The 13th North Atlantic right whale calf with their mother off Wassaw Island, Georgia on Jan. 19, 2010. @GeorgiaWild, under NOAA permit #20556

North Atlantic right whales are in serious trouble, but there is hope. A total of 14 new calves of the extremely endangered species have been spotted this winter between Florida and North Carolina.

Read More Show Less

Trending

There are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients. Marko Geber / Getty Images

By Yoram Vodovotz and Michael Parkinson

The majority of Americans are stressed, sleep-deprived and overweight and suffer from largely preventable lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Being overweight or obese contributes to the 50% of adults who suffer high blood pressure, 10% with diabetes and additional 35% with pre-diabetes. And the costs are unaffordable and growing. About 90% of the nearly $4 trillion Americans spend annually for health care in the U.S. is for chronic diseases and mental health conditions. But there are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients.

Read More Show Less
Candles spell out, "Fight for 1 point 5" in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany on Dec. 11, 2020, in reference to 1.5°C of Earth's warming. The event was organized by the Fridays for Future climate movement. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Taking an unconventional approach to conduct the largest-ever poll on climate change, the United Nations' Development Program and the University of Oxford surveyed 1.2 million people across 50 countries from October to December of 2020 through ads distributed in mobile gaming apps.

Read More Show Less
A monarch butterfly is perched next to an adult caterpillar on a milkweed plant, the only plant the monarch will lay eggs on and the caterpillar will eat. Cathy Keifer / Getty Images

By Tara Lohan

Fall used to be the time when millions of monarch butterflies in North America would journey upwards of 2,000 miles to warmer winter habitat.

Read More Show Less