Fire in zoo kills over 30 animals: three women under investigation

Candles in front of zoo, source: Zoo Krefeld
Candles in front of zoo, source: Zoo Krefeld

A fire that broke out in a German zoo in the early hours of the New Year has killed more than 30 animals in the Great Ape House.

The zoo’s orangutan family, consisting of Bunjo (19), Lea (26), their daughters Sungai (15), Suria (3) and their son Changi (9), died in the fire.

The senior gorillas Massa (48) and Boma (46) and the West African chimpanzee Charly (46) also lost their lives.

Other animals that died in the fire were three golden lion monkeys, two silver monkeys and six pygmy marmosets, two agoutis, fruit bats and free-flying birds.

Two chimpanzees, Bally and Limbo, miraculously survived the fire.

The fire in Zoo Krefeld in the west of Germany city was started by a sky lantern that set the roof of the Great Ape House on fire.

Mom and her daughters under investigation
A 60-year-old mother and her two adult daughters have turned themselves in to police. The three women are being investigated for setting off the flying lanterns, which are banned, police said in a statement.

The women had ordered the sky lanterns online. They said they didn’t know the fireworks were forbidden.

Hundreds of visitors left candles, flowers and stuffed toys at the entrance to the zoo.

Zoo Krefeld zoo is home to almost 200 species and a total of around 1000 animals, has over 400.000 visitors a year. The Great Ape House was opened in 1975, with a floor area of 2000 square meters.

Old video of the orangutan family that passed away on New Year’s eve.
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