Aardvark killed in fire at London Zoo

The firefighters can be seen tackling the huge blaze at the zoo

The firefighters can be seen tackling the huge blaze at the zoo

The London Zoo is closed after a fire injured nine people and killed at least one animal.

The fire broke out near the old penguin pool towards the back of the site.

A fire at the London Zoo early Saturday that broke out before opening time left one aardvark dead and four meerkats missing and presumed dead.

According to Reuters, it took over 70 firefighters from the London Fire Brigade around three hours to put out the fire, which quickly spread to a nearby gift shop and cafe area.

TV footage from the scene showed the Adventure Cafe and shop to be badly damaged.

A spokesman for the zoo confirmed the death of Misha, and said that it was not yet possible to say what had happened to the animals unaccounted for. "We will update as quickly as the situation allows".

Mr Jermey said: "Given the circumstances they are fine but they, like..."

London Fire Brigade later posted on Twitter, saying that the blaze was now "under control", but that firefighters were still on the scene, and would remain there throughout the morning to continue "damping down" the fire.

Security guards, along with zoo keepers who live on site, first responded to the fire, alerting authorities and moving the animals to safe locations within their enclosures, the zoo said.

The fire brigade was called at 6.08am.

'It is not believed any animals are involved at this stage'.

It is not yet clear how the fire - which is at the Adventure Cafe Shop - started.

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