Dozens of monkeys die in German zoo fire

BERLIN, Germany – Fire ripped through the monkey house at Krefeld zoo in northwestern Germany on New Year's Eve, killing dozens of animals, including orangutans, chimpanzees, and marmosets, management said Wednesday, January 1.

"Our worst fears have been realized," the zoo, which specializes in primates, announced on its Facebook page. (READ: Over half of world's primates on brink of extinction – experts)

Police said at least 30 of the animals had died.

The blaze destroyed the monkey enclosure, which opened in 1975, shortly before midnight.

But firefighters prevented the flames from spreading to other buildings at the zoo in North Rhine-Westphalia.

It was not clear what started the fire.

The zoo would remain closed during Wednesday with employees "in shock" after a "terrible tragedy", the management said. –