'Mishca the aardvark' dies and four meerkats missing after huge London Zoo blaze

London Zoo fire - Credit: London Fire Brigade/PA Wire
London Zoo fire - Credit: London Fire Brigade/PA Wire
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One aardvark has died and four meerkats are missing after a fire at ZSL London Zoo.

A spokesman for the zoo confirmed the death of Misha, and said that it was currently not possible to say what had happened to the animals unaccounted for.

The fire broke out at approximately 6am on Saturday in the Animal Adventure section of the zoo, and spread to an adjacent shop.

Duty staff who live on site were on the scene immediately, and started moving animals to safety.

Seventy-two firefighters attended the incident and the fire was brought under control by 9.16am.

A spokeswoman for London Zoo said staff were "devastated" by nine-year-old Misha's death.

She said: "All other animals in the vicinity are being monitored closely by our vets, but early signs suggest they have not been affected. We will continue to monitor them over the coming days.

"We are all naturally devastated by this, but are immensely grateful to the fire brigade, who reacted quickly to the situation to bring the fire under control.

"It's too soon to speculate on the cause of the fire but we will be working very closely with fire investigators over the coming days and weeks to ascertain the cause. The Zoo will be closed for the day and fire crews will remain on site for some time damping down.

"We will aim to re-open when we know it is safe to do so for animals, staff and visitors."