Woburn Safari Park fire: 13 patas monkeys die in blaze at Bedfordshire animal enclosure

Investigation launched after blaze leaves 90 per cent of outbuilding damaged

Tom Embury-Dennis
Tuesday 02 January 2018 10:20
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13 monkeys dead after fire at Woburn Safari Park

Thirteen patas monkeys have died following a fire at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire.

An investigation has been launched after the blaze broke out in the monkeys’ enclosure in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

A Woburn Safari Park spokesperson told The Independent no other animals were harmed.

A statement released by the park said: “Staff and fire crews attended the scene, however, devastatingly for everyone at the park, none of the 13 animals could be saved.

“All other animals within the jungle drive-through enclosure are being monitored, but early signs suggest that they have not been affected.

“An investigation is under way into the cause of the fire and whilst the park will remain open, the jungle enclosure will remain closed for investigation.

“The park is grateful to the quick response from Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, who attended with three appliances.”

A spokesperson for the fire brigade told The Independent: “Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service attended a fire at a monkey enclosure at Woburn Safari Park at 2.37am this morning.”

He added: “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.”

According to the park’s website, the monkeys shared their 16 acre exhibit with Barbacy macaques and a herd of Eastern Mountain antelope.

Patas monkeys are adapted to live on the ground instead of trees, and are the fastest runners among the world’s primates, reaching speeds of up to 34mph. They are found in many parts of central, western and eastern Africa.

The park remains open to the public.

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