NUMEROUS animals have died after a devastating fire at a popular Essex petting zoo. 

A fire broke out in the early hours of Monday (July 5) morning at Maldon Promenade Petting Zoo. 

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

According to the zoo it has suffered "numerous losses", including cockatoos, macaws, parrots, meerkats, armadillos, and skunks.

In a statement on Facebook, it said: "Overnight on the 5th July 2021 we have suffered a devastating fire at our private farm on the Dengie Peninsula.

"With the help of the fire brigade, friends and family we have managed to save some animals but we have suffered numerous losses.

"The fire brigade are currently continuing their investigations as to find out the cause and we are trying to process what has happened.

"We do ask for privacy at this time whilst we assess the full extent of the damage and move our unaffected animals to a safe location.

"We will provide you with an update in due course."

"Sincere thanks for all the well wishes so far and we will hopefully get some answers as to what has caused these tragic events."

The zoo has since confirmed that the fire was likely to have been caused by a freezer.