Fire at German petting zoo kills 26 animals

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A fire in a petting zoo in Karlsruhe killed 26 domesticated animals, but wild animals in adjoining enclosures were brought to safety, police said Saturday.

The overnight blaze destroyed the wooden buildings housing sheep, goats, donkeys, ponies and alpagas in the area containing animals for the public to stroke at the Karlsruhe zoo in western Germany.

As some 100 firefighters fought the blaze, staff evacuated wild animals, including flamingoes and four elephants, one of which was slightly burned. Two hippos refused to come out of their pool, forcing keepers to drain it so they could be rescued.

Authorities said that apart from the petting enclosure the zoo would be open for business as usual on Sunday.

© 2010 AFP

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