London

London Zoo fire cause still unknown ahead of stocktake

Keeper Zu Zanna counts penguins during the annual stocktake at ZSL London Zoo Image copyright Kirsty O'Connor
Image caption The annual stocktake was delayed by more than a month by a fire which killed an aardvark and four meerkats

The cause of a fire which ripped through London Zoo before Christmas is still not known, as the yearly stocktake gets under way.

An aardvark and four meerkats were killed in the blaze that took 70 firefighters to tackle and left nine people injured on 23 December.

The fire delayed the annual stocktake of 19,000 animals by more than a month.

Zoo manager Mark Haben said it was "early days, we don't know the cause of the fire". An investigation is ongoing.

Image copyright Brendan Cooney/Reuters
Image caption It took 70 firefighters to tackle the fire, which began in the Animal Adventure section

Mr Haben said the incident had brought staff at the zoo together in preparation for the new breeding season.

The zoo reopened on Christmas Eve, but the stocktake - scheduled to take place on 2 January - was postponed to "get more staff involved" and give the zoo more planning time.

With more than 700 species to be counted the stocktake will continue throughout the week.

Image copyright BEN STANSALL
Image caption With more than 700 species to be counted the process will continue throughout the week
Image copyright NEIL HALL
Image caption The annual stocktake of 19,000 animals expects to welcome more animal births following a "very successful" breeding season

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites