PICS: German zoo reopens days after deadly Great Ape House fire
Krefeld, Germany - The zoo in the western German city of Krefeld reopened on Friday, two days after a fire destroyed its renowned Great Ape House, killing 30 animals.
Visitors began queueing ahead of the opening at 9 am (0800 GMT). Others lit candles to mark their sorrow over the loss of monkeys and other primates, including chimpanzees, five orangutans and two elderly gorillas.
The Great Ape House caught fire shortly after midnight on Wednesday, apparently after a Chinese lantern had landed on it.
A 60-year-old woman and her two grown-up daughters turned themselves into police in the belief that they had inadvertently caused the fire. They said they had lit five Chinese lanterns, one of which "with a probability bordering on certainty," according to police, had set fire to the ape enclosure.
The women are now being investigated for negligent arson and could face up to five years in prison or a fine if they are found guilty.
They said they had ordered the Chinese lanterns online, without realizing that they were illegal across most of Germany.
Krefeld Zoo said it had received thousands of donations, as well as offers of assistance from other German zoos.dpa