Meerkats, parrots and giant tortoise among animals killed in Essex zoo fire

At least 25 animals have died in a fire outbreak a popular petting zoo in Essex on Monday.

Monday night’s fire outbreak at the Maldon Promenade Petting Zoo in Essex led to the death of 25 animals. The barn was covered in a huge blaze when officers from the Fire and Rescue Service arrived at the scene. It took three fire crews from Burnham, Maldon, and Tillingham to douse the raging flames.

Some of the precious animals that perished in the inferno included a giant tortoise, cockatoos, macaws, parrots, meerkats, armadillos and skunks.

Investigations found that the fire may have started from a faulty freezer. Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said:

On arrival, crews reported that a barn measuring 20 metres by 30 metres was 100% alight. Crews worked to extinguish the fire in sections by 12.15pm. Sadly, a number of animals died in the incident. An investigation into the cause of the fire found that it started accidentally due to an electrical fault.

A terrible tragedy

In a facebook post, management of the facility paid tribute to the ‘beautiful’ animals lost:

These are just some of the amazing characters & personalities lost. I pay heartfelt love to them all & will miss you all RIP. We will never forget the beautiful animals that we have lost in such tragic circumstances, some of the little guys kept at our private farm were retired, resting or previous unwanted pets that we tried so hard to care for.

According to management, they take various precautions to stop fires or accidents from happening.

Our appliances are regularly pat tested, we have certified electrician on hand for any problems, regularly have health & safety audits from our own but also external consultants, fire risk assessment regularly carried out, we also received guidance from the fire service two years ago to try & prevent accidental fire.

They said they learn from this sad incident to ensure that the animals are safe and protected. They also apologised to staff, family and customers of the zoo who are grieving the loss.

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