London Zoo fire leaves aardvark dead, 4 meerkats missing

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London Zoo is on lockdown after a huge blaze ripped through the cafe - next to the beloved meerkats.

Dominic Jermey, director general for ZSL, said some staff were treated for smoke inhalation and shock.

A spokeswoman for the LFB said: 'Approximately half of an adventure cafe and shop, which also contains an animal petting area, is now alight.

The zoo - an iconic London attraction in Regent's Park - was closed to visitors Saturday, but after consulting with fire experts, it said it's confident it can open safely on Sunday morning.

At its worst, the flames spread to a shop and at one point, 70 firefighters were on the scene battling the fire, which sent one person to the hospital.

"Sadly our vets have confirmed the death of our nine-year-old aardvark, Misha". London Fire Brigade have stated that no animals or people have been injured in the blaze, which began at around 06:00 near the Adventure cafe.

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"Over the next few hours our specialist fire investigation teams will be searching through the debris and looking and seeing if they can establish a likely cause", he said.

The zoo said it was "dealing with an incident on site".

A spokesperson for London Fire Brigade said: "The first call was made at 6.08am this morning and ten engines with two cranes and 70 firefighters attended the scene".

A statement said: "Fire crews from Kentish Town, Paddington, Euston, West Hampstead and other surrounding fire stations are at the scene".

Staff will work with fire investigators to determine the cause of the blaze, the zoo said.

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