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W.Bruce Lincoln

Dozens of rare animals suffocated to death in fire

By The Siberian Times reporter
18 January 2016

Private zoo in Irkutsk engulfed by flames and smoke despite minus 35C cold.

The stuff of the zoo was to board up the windows after the fire, to keep the facility warm. Picture: Vesti.ru

The inferno struck the tropical animal hall at Zoo Gallery suffocating rare breeds of animals hamsters, guinea pigs, exotic spiders along with cockroaches and rats.

'Dozens' perished mainly from smoke fumes but others escaped. A crocodile called Kilka - aged 14 - was rescued by staff.

Zoo official Lyudmila Ivushkina said: 'It was not so easy to take him out of the burning building. The animal is very strong. Very strong and very dangerous.'

Fire in Irkutsk Zoo Gallery


Fire in Irkutsk Zoo Gallery


Fire in Irkutsk Zoo Gallery


Fire in Irkutsk Zoo Gallery

'We are not closed. We plan to open again soon.' Pictures: Vesti.ru

Lyudmila adds: 'Yes, the situation is rather difficult now, we do not know where to find the money for the renovation and how to pay for electricity now, yet we are not closed. We plan to open again soon.'

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

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