13 monkeys die after fire breaks out at Woburn Safari Park

13 Patas monkeys died in the blaze (Woburn Safari Park)

Thirteen Patas monkeys have died after a fire broke out at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire.

The park’s owners said the enclosure within the African Forest drive-through caught fire in the early hours.

An investigation is under way into the cause of the fire.

Woburn homes more than 1,000 animals in a road and foot safari. This includes rhinos, giraffes, elephants, lions, monkeys and tigers.

The attraction will remain open to the public.

In a statement the park said: “In the early hours of Tuesday 2nd January, a fire broke out in the Patas Monkey house within the African Forest drive-through enclosure of the park.

“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.

Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire (PA)

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

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

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze was spotted by security guards on a routine patrol before firefighters arrived at 2.37am.

“They found the outbuilding housing Patas monkeys was well alight and its roof had fallen in,” it said in a statement.

“They fought the fire using fire hoses while wearing breathing apparatus to protect themselves from the smoke and fumes.

“The building was 90% damaged by the fire.”

The fire service said the incident was over by 4.46am.