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3 women investigated for starting fire at German zoo that killed 30 animals

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Posted at 2:08 PM, Jan 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 14:08:04-05

Three women are under investigation in Germany for launching paper sky lanterns blamed for igniting a fire that destroyed an ape house at a zoo.

Police say the three local women — a mother and her two daughters, ages 30 to 60 — went to police in the western city of Krefeld on New Year's Day.

Prosecutors say the women are being investigated on suspicion of negligent arson.

The offense can carry a prison sentence of up to five years.

More than 30 animals died in the blaze at Krefeld Zoo that began in the first minutes of the new year. Amazingly, two chimpanzees ‚ Bally and Limbo ‚ survived the fire.

"Like a miracle... they are only slightly injured," the zoo said in a Facebook post on Wednesday on Facebook.

The zoo has since re-opened. A memorial has sprung up near the destroyed monkey enclosure.