17th August 2021

In the last four years there have been at least six fires in zoos across the UK, with one zoo in Scotland having two fires in just over a year! Let that sink in for a moment.


Over 118 animals have been killed in fires that have broken out in UK zoos in the last four years. These animals include monkeys, aardvarks, meerkats, cockatoos, macaws, parrots, armadillos, skunks, giant tortoises, cockroaches, fish, frogs and snakes.


It is impossible to know exactly how many lives have been lost in these fires, but reports show at least 118 individuals not including the fire at Chester Zoo fire as the number of fatalities here has never been released. Then there are the injured. There is no way of knowing how many lives have been affected by these fires. The physical and psychological injuries really must be countless.


  • 2017 London Zoo - 5 animals killed
  • 2018 Woburn Safari Park - 13 monkeys dead
  • 2018 Chester Zoo - number of deaths unknown
  • 2020 Fife Zoo - no fatalities
  • 2021 Fife Zoo - no fatalities
  • 2021 Maldon Promenade Petting Zoo – reports show over 100 animals died


Imagine being locked in a cage and a fire starts. Where do you go? How do you get out? You only get out if someone comes to help you. What if you’re not the species worth saving? Or you're too small, too frightened, too dangerous to free.

Reports show that these fires started due to electrical issues and sadly, fires happen every day, in people’s homes and in the natural environment. But when you are locked in a cage with no escape it makes things very different.

A lot is spoken about the impact that these events will have on staff. And no doubt these events would have been horrendous for them, but what of the horrors that the animals face? Imagine the fear they must have felt.

Zoos should have a responsibility to have an evacuation plan in case of events like these. But can it be possible to have a failproof plan in case of fire? There are rules on the evacuation of staff and customers, but again the animals are forgotten and are the products of a zoo’s existence. And all this for human entertainment.

With proof in recent fires, it’s clear that events like this will keep happening. It’s just more evidence to show that animals should not be held captive in zoos.


Animals don’t belong in cages!


You can help to end this exploitation. Make a donation today to fund investigations and lobbying to change the lives of animals in captivity.