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A gorilla that was seriously injured in a zoo fire on New Year's Eve had to be shot dead by a police officer after vets were unable to euthanize it, it has emerged.
An official report detailed the previously unreported drama in the wake of the blaze at Krefeld zoo earlier this month.
Rescuers - Remains - Primate - House - New
Rescuers searching through the charred remains of the primate house on New Year's Day found two animals still alive: the gorilla and a female orangutan, the interior ministry of North Rhine-Westphalia state said.
Vets were able to euthanize the orangutan but struggled to do so with the gorilla. After getting permission from a senior officer, a 34-year-old police officer killed the gorilla with shots from his submachine gun.
Investigators - Fire - Dozens - Animals - Lanterns
Investigators believe the fire which killed dozens of animals was caused by airborne lanterns that were released by three women celebrating the new year.
The lanterns, which are illegal to use in Germany, had inadvertently landed in the zoo.
Suspects - Fire - Dozens - Animals - Mother
The suspects responsible for the fire which killed dozens of animals are a mother, 60, and her two adult daughters believed to be in their 30s, Krefeld police confirmed on January 2.
The three women from Krefeld in western Germany lit five paper Chinese lanterns and launched them into the sky on New Year's Eve, despite a ban on the objects, which they had ordered online without a permit.
Police - Learning - Disaster - News - Ape
They handed themselves into police after learning of the disaster on the news, in which the entire ape house burned down and more than 30 animals, including five orangutans, a 48-year-old silverback gorilla called Massa, a chimpanzee and several monkeys, as well as fruit bats and birds, were killed just after midnight on New Year's Eve.
Criminal police chief Gerd Hoppmann described the women as 'completely normal people who seemed very sensible, very responsible'.
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