Fire destroys reptile house, inhabitants at Missouri zoo

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A fire ripped through a zoo’s reptile house in Missouri, killing all 11 inhabitants of the habitat.

The fire was reported around 4:30 a.m. Friday at the Critter Lane Petting Zoo in Valles Mines, according to a Facebook post from the zoo.

The structure was nearly destroyed by the time fire crews arrived, Big River Fire Department Assistant Chief Allen Stegall said.

The nearby birdhouse was damaged by smoke and water, but all of the birds apparently survived without injury, Stegall said.

The zoo opened for the season Saturday.

“All of us here are devastated by the loss of animals. We have a long day ahead of us cleaning up along with preparation for tomorrow’s opening day,” the zoo said in the Facebook post.

“Thanks to the fire departments and everyone involved this morning with helping put out the fire. Keep us in your prayers today.”

The Critter Lane Petting Zoo is seeking donations to rebuild.

The cause of the fire is unclear.

With Post wires

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