There was a shock on New Year’s Eve when an accidental fire caused by sky lanterns took the lives of nearly all animals at Krefeld’s zoo in western Germany.
But two chimpanzees, Bally and Limbo, survived the blaze and are now being cared for in the zoo’s medical division, reported the zoo in a Facebook post on Monday.
The photo shows the West African chimpanzee Bally reaching into a haystack with his left hand.
The burns from the night of the fire are clearly visible on his nose, mouth and ear. The two apes are also said to have suffered burns on their hands and feet.
“But their coat is completely preserved,” wrote the zoo under the picture. “Both are eating and drinking well.”
Within the next few days Bally and Limbo are slated to move to a section of the zoo’s Gorilla Garden which is not visible to the public.
“We feel that the care provided by the familiar keepers also gives them emotional support,” said the Krefeld Zoo. “That is why there are no concrete plans for a change of location.”
There will be no urn burial site for the deceased monkeys on the zoo grounds in order to respect the wishes of zookeepers.
However, there are plans to establish a memorial site for them in the future, said the zoo.
Shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve last Tuesday, a fire killed 30 monkeys at the Zoo Krefeld, which has been open since 1975 and specializes in primates.
A 60-year-old woman and her two adult daughters had accidentally started the fire with sky lanterns, which are illegal in Germany, said investigators.
Only the two chimpanzees survived, as well as a family of gorillas in a nearby building.
Local prosecutors are now investigating the women for negligent arson, a crime which can be punished with up to five years in prison.