Chester Zoo fire – huge blaze breaks out at popular attraction that houses 21,000 animals

Dark smoke was seen billowing from the blaze, which broke out in the Monsoon Forest – the UK's largest indoor zoo exhibit.

The zoo in Upton, Cheshire, issued a statement shortly after midday: "We can confirm that the fire brigade is attending a fire in our Monsoon Forest habitat.

"Visitors have been evacuated and asked to leave the zoo as teams work to bring the situation under control. The zoo's animal teams are working to move all animals away from the incident."

The Monsoon Forest is home to Sumatran orangutans, Sulawesi macaques and the Sunda gharial crocodile.

Shocking footage showed a flames erupting from the roof of the zoo shortly before midday today.

David Alan Wearing tweeted: "Fire at Chester Zoo – hope humans and animals evacuated safely – fire crews arriving on their scene."

Just 30 minutes later he posted a second video showing that the flames had now gone, writing: "Looks like under fire control".

While a Twitter user who calls himself just Andy on Twitter wrote: "Such a shame, huge fire at Chester Zoo. Being evacuated :(.

Were you at the zoo or did you see what happened? Get in touch by calling 020 7822 4370 or email [email protected]

Chester Zoo is the most visited wildlife attraction in the whole of the UK, and holds a large and diverse collection.

According to 2007 records, over half the species at the zoo appeared on the IUCN Red List and 155 were classified as threatened species.

More to follow…

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