Exotic animals perish in Russian circus fire

27th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

More than 50 exotic birds and animals including parrots, monkeys and chinchillas died Monday in a fire near a circus in Saint Petersburg, Russia's emergencies ministry said.

The animals had been on display in an outbuilding close to the circus when the premises caught fire, killing 23 parrots, 10 rabbits, six chinchillas, four canary birds, four monkeys, two iguanas, two ferrets, a snake and a skunk, the ministry's Saint Petersburg branch said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Fires are common in Russia where ageing infrastructure and faulty electrics are often blamed for starting blazes. Circuses enjoyed popularity and state support in Soviet times but are currently underfunded and prone to accidents such as fires.

© 2010 AFP

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