Thirteen monkeys have died in a fire at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire. The incident took place in the early hours of Tuesday (2 January) at the park's Patas Monkey house in its African Forest drive-through enclosure.

All thirteen of the safari's patas monkeys died in the incident, which was attended by staff and local firefighters, according to a statement.

The Patas monkeys often climb on visitors' cars and they are one of the park's most-loved animals and attractions and staff are said to be devastated today.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is currently underway.

Woburn Safari Park will remain open following the blaze, however ""Devastatingly for everyone at the park, none of the 13 animals could be saved."

"All other animals within the jungle drive-through enclosure are being monitored, but early signs suggest that they have not been affected."

The African Forest enclosure is also home to barbary macaques, another species of monkey and a herd of East African mountain bongo.

"The park is grateful to the quick response from Bedfordshire Fire Brigade, who attended with three appliances."

The fire broke out at around 2:30am UK time, a spokesman from Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue said.

"When firefighters from Woburn and Dunstable Community Fire Stations arrived along with the water carrier from Toddington they found the outbuilding housing Patas monkeys was well alight and its roof had fallen in.

"They fought the fire using fire hoses while wearing breathing apparatus to protect themselves from the smoke and fumes. The building was 90% damaged by the fire.

"The fire was spotted by security guards on a routine patrol. There were a number of fatalities amongst the monkeys housed in the building. The incident was closed at 4.46am."

The news follows a similar incident at London Zoo, where a huge fire broke out at the Adventure Cafe. More than 70 firefighters and 10 fire engines attended fought the blaze, which claimed the life of one female aardvark called Misha.

Eight people were also treated for smoke inhalation and minor injuries. The incident led to the closure of the park for a day during the busy Christmas period.