'It was seriously bad' - Fire rips through Monkey Town in Somerset West

2018-12-14 11:22
One of Monkey Town's many inhabitants. (Leanne Stander)

One of Monkey Town's many inhabitants. (Leanne Stander)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Staff at the Monkey Town Primate Centre in Somerset West are picking up the pieces after a late-night fire destroyed some infrastructure, one of the managers said on Friday.

"The most important thing is that the animals are fine," said Yvette Botha.

She said their restaurant had burnt down completely and that some animal enclosures had been destroyed.

"We still do not have an idea what caused the fire. It started outside the restaurant building around 22:45. Everybody was in bed already," said Botha.

Staff living on the premises heard the alarm going off.

"Someone else was screaming from the road. It was seriously bad."

City of Cape Town fire and rescue spokesperson Edward Bosch said that, when firefighters arrived before 23:00, the main restaurant building was well alight.

A total of 21 firefighters, three fire engines, two water tankers and a rescue vehicle were dispatched.

Botha said she and the staff did what they could to keep their charges safe.  

The centre is home to more than 250 monkeys and some 400 other animals.

"We just stood in different places to make sure the sparks don't go from one place to another place. The baboons are very clever and went very high up in the trees."

The centre has already received support, with one woman offering to raise money to rebuild the baboon enclosure.

Anyone who would like to help can contact the centre on pro@monkeys.co.za.

Bosch said the cause of the fire was being investigated.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires  |  animals

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.