German zoo fire kills over 30 animals, including apes, monkeys and bats

"There are no surviving animals in the monkey house. However, the gorilla garden has been spared," the city of Krefeld said on Twitter.

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By Kalhan Rosenblatt

A zoo in Krefeld, Germany, suffered a devastating fire early Wednesday that killed animals in its monkey house, according to local officials.

At about 12:40 p.m. local time, Krefeld's police and fire departments were called to respond to a burning building at Zoo Krefeld.

When the arrived, they found the zoo's Great Ape House ablaze and were unable to enter.

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Dozens of animals, including orangutans, chimpanzees and marmosets, were killed when an ape house caught fire at Zoo Krefeld in Germany on Wednesday.Christoph Reichwein / DPA / AFP - Getty Images

"There are no surviving animals in the monkey house. However, the gorilla garden has been spared," according to a tweet from the city of Krefeld, a few miles northwest of Düsseldorf.

More than 30 animals died in the blaze, including monkeys, apes, bats and birds, The Associated Press reported.

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In a Facebook post, the zoo wrote that two chimpanzees named Bally and Limbo were "only slightly injured" and were being cared for by veterinarians at the zoo.

Kidogo the gorilla also survived and was doing well, according to the tweet from the city.

The charred remains of the ape house at Zoo Krefeld on Wednesday.Thilo Schmuelgen / Reuters

"We would like to thank you on this way for the overwhelming wave of compassion and assistance that reach us on all channels," the zoo wrote in a post in German. "We also thank you for the solidarity in social networks. We read everything, but we can't manage to respond to it yet."

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear. The Facebook post went on to say that the monkey house was at risk of collapsing and that it had been cordoned off by fire experts and the police.

Zoo Krefeld's website described the Great Ape House as a 2,000-square-meter tropical house built in 1975. In addition to apes, the facility also housed flying foxes and free-roaming birds.