A popular petting zoo will reopen this afternoon (July 7) after a fire killed several animals. 

The fire broke out on Monday (July 5) at Maldon Promenade Petting Zoo's private farm in the Dengie Peninsula. 

Upon arrival, crews from Burnham-on-Crouch, Maldon and Tillingham reported that a barn measuring 20 metres by 30 metres was 100 per alight. 

The zoo suffered "numerous losses", including cockatoos, macaws, parrots, meerkats, armadillos, and skunks.

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The zoo plans to reopen this afternoon for well wishes to pay their respects and chat to staff. 

In a post on Facebook the zoo said: "Thank you again for the amazing help & support from so many it is honestly staggering.

"If you have messaged, helped, gave financial support or anything and I haven’t replied I am honestly struggling to keep up with the amazing support it is so heart-warming for all of us at the zoo.

"Our doors at Maldon Zoo will be open to well-wishers, people that would like to chat or pay their respects to our amazing lovely animal team that we lost.

"Doors will be open between 2-4pm anyone welcome, it will be nice to see some friendly faces. I will be there, possibly some of my team, but this will be optional."

A fundraiser launched to raise money for the zoo has almost hit its target of £3,500. 

So far generous well-wishers have raised a staggering £3,170 in just over 24 hours.