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Colchester Zoo's miniature train destroyed by fire

The road train at Colchester Zoo has been destroyed by fire. Credit: Colchester Zoo.

The road train at Colchester Zoo has been destroyed by fire.

The blaze began just before 8am on Wednesday and engulfed the station building of the miniature railway and the train itself.

A spokesman for the zoo said the ride would be closed "for the forseeable future" but confirmed no animals or staff had been in danger during the fire.

"This has not affected the visitors visibility of animals as we have made arrangements for the lemur walkthrough area to be accessible via foot whilst the train is out of action.

"We will endeavour to purchase a new train and reconstruct the station therefore we will do our best to have this completed and operational by Easter 2016 but we will keep you updated with news as the reconstruction takes place."

– Colchester Zoo spokesman.

Zoo's new arrivals

Sveta and her twins Credit: Banham Zoo

Staff at Banham Zoo in Norfolk are celebrating the arrival of twin tiger cubs.

Keepers installed CCTV cameras so that they could monitor their Amur tigress, Sveta, giving birth without disturbing her.

Keepers monitor the progress of the twins by CCTC cameras Credit: Banham Zoo

The twins are said to be making excellent progress.


50th birthday for Colchester Zoo

One of our region's top tourist attractions is celebrating a noteable milestone this week. Colchester Zoo is about to mark its 50th birthday, having originally opened as Stanway Hall Zoo Park in 1963. But as Serena Sandhu reports, the zoo's focus has changed over the last half-century...


Mini moose

Meet Whipsnade's new arrivals Credit: Whipsnade Zoo

Staff at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire are celebrating the arrival of two new moose calves.

Toffee and Caramel are already running around and taking in their new surroundings.

The duo are members of the European moose family. Once fully grown they will be more than six fet (two metres) tall.

Colchester Zoo welcomes eighth baby aardvark

Newborn aardvark - he doesn't really have blue ears! It's just a trick of the light as this photo was taken in the birthing burrow Credit: Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo is celebrating yet another aardvark birth. The group of aardvarks at the zoo are one of the most successful breeding groups in Europe and the only successful group to breed in the UK.

The mother, Oq, gave birth to her seventh baby in March this year, bring the total births for the entire group to eight.

Newborn aardvark in birthing burrow at Colchester Zoo Credit: Colchester Zoo

The baby and mother are currently housed in the birthing burrow while the baby grows strong and will return to the rest of the group later this month.

The birthing burrow is off show, but visitors can see Oq and her baby via a CCTV link to a large screen in the main viewing tunnel of the zoo’s aardvark Burrow.

Aardvarks are native to Southern Egypt and South Africa and live mainly in the sub-Saharan areas. Their habitat is generally grasslands and open woodland and their diet is made up of ants, termites, fruits and insects.