Fire Kills Thirteen Monkeys at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire, UK

Tom Ozimek
By Tom Ozimek
January 2, 2018UK
Fire Kills Thirteen Monkeys at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire, UK
A patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas), at Tierpark, Berlin, Germany in August 2014. Thirteen monkeys of the same species died in a fire at the Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire, UK, on Jan. 2. (Flickr / Tambako The Jaguar)

Thirteen monkeys have been killed in a large fire at the Woburn Safari Park in the early hours of Tuesday, Jan. 8.

The blaze broke out in an enclosure occupied by Patas Monkeys at the park in Bedfordshire, UK, according to a statement on the park website.

“Devastatingly for everyone at the park, none of the thirteen animals could be saved,” said the statement.

Despite efforts by firefighters and staff members, all the animals in the Patas Monkey house were killed when the roof collapsed  as a result of the blaze, said the statement.

In this Feb. 17, 2008 photo, patas monkeys interact at the Houston Zoo in the U.S. Thirteen of the same species were killed at the Woburn Safari Park in Bradfordshire, U.K.
on Jan. 2. (Flickr / Transpixt)

An inquiry has been launched into the cause of the fire, which occurred within the African Forest part of the park, and part of the park will be closed for the investigation.

Fire crews arrived at Woburn at 02:37 local time to fight the blaze, which was said to be of significant intensity, the BBC reported.

According to the Daily Mail a spokesperson for Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue said: “When firefighters from Woburn and Dunstable Community Fire Stations arrived along with the water carrier from Toddington they found the outbuilding housing Patas monkeys was well alight and its roof had fallen in.

“They fought the fire using fire hoses while wearing breathing apparatus to protect themselves from the smoke and fumes. The building was 90 per cent damaged by the fire.”

It took two hours to extinguish the flames, according to the fire service.

Park officials said that following the traumatic incident they are monitoring the other animals, but early signs suggest that they have not been affected.

Young patas monkeys at the Southwicks Zoo in Millville, Massachussetts, U.S. Photo taken on Aug. 24, 2013. (Flickr / Eric Kilby)

The Woburn blaze comes just days after a fire broke out in the animal adventure section at London Zoo on Dec. 23.

An aardvark was killed and four meerkats are presumed dead in the incident, which left staff requiring treatment for smoke inhalation, the Guardian reported.

“Sadly our vets have confirmed the death of our nine-year-old aardvark, Misha,” a statement on the London Zoo’s website said. “There are also four meerkats unaccounted for at this stage.”

It is not known what caused either the London Zoo fire or the Woburn Safari Park blaze.

Aerial footage of the Woburn Safari Park, from FlyLow channel:

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