Chester Zoo staff release heartwarming pictures of animals rescued from deadly fire

ANIMALS heroically rescued when a fire broke out at Chester Zoo have been photographed settling into their new habitats.

Pictures show the zoo residents, including endangered Sumatran orangutans and Sulawesi macaques, enjoying their new homes following the blaze in the Monsoon Forest habitat building last weekend.

Sally, an Asian brown tortoise who was rescued by keepers and firefighters, settling into her new home at Chester Zoo
PA:Press Association

Visitors had to be evacuated and zookeepers led animals to safety with the help of firefighters as the flames broke out at about 11.30am on Saturday.

A number of insects, birds and reptiles died in the fire, which was caused by an electrical fault, but all the mammals in the building were rescued, as well as a range of other species including lizards, tortoises and birds.

Staff have worked around the clock to relocate all the animals to other areas of the zoo.

Some of the creatures, such as the Sunda gharial crocodiles, turtles and fish, will remain in the Monsoon Forest building, where their habitats have been undisturbed.

A green crested lizard settling into its new home after a blaze in the Monsoon Forest building have been moved to new habitats
PA:Press Association
A Sunda gharial crocodile, basking in a part of the Monsoon Forest at Chester Zoo, which was unaffected by the recent fire
PA:Press Association
A batagur turtle swimming in its new habitat
PA:Press Association

Mike Jordan, director of plants and animals at Chester Zoo, said: “Everyone has pulled together and worked incredibly hard to relocate the many wonderful species whose homes were affected by the events of Saturday.

“Our animal experts will now be keeping a very close eye on each and every one of them – helping them to fully settle in to their temporary accommodation and ensure they have everything they need.”

A fundraising page set up in response to public offers of support has raised more than £140,000.

Zoo bosses said the money will go towards preventing the extinction of species from South East Asia, which were housed in the Monsoon Forest habitat.

Sumatran orangutans settling into their new home in the Realm of the Red Ape
PA:Press Association
Sulawesi macaque monkeys settling into their new home at Chester Zoo
PA:Press Association

Chief operating officer Jamie Christon said: “Knowing how much people are behind us has made this terribly difficult time a little easier to bear and we really have been bowled over by all of the support.

“We’re a conservation charity, working to prevent extinction and the overwhelming generosity of our supporters will enable us to deliver an incredible amount of conservation work for threatened South East Asian species, both here in Chester and around the world.”

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