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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 March 2006, 16:58 GMT
Zoo staff praised for fire rescue
The baby giraffe that died
Kizi and the six-day-old calf died in the fire
Zoo staff who helped save elephants in a fire that killed a family of giraffes are being recognised for their bravery by Devon firefighters.

An electrical fault started the fire in which a mother giraffe and six-day-old calf died, and the father days later.

Paignton Zoo's mammals curator Neil Bemment and Jim Dicks, responsible for large mammals, worked with fire crews to rescue two elephants on 12 February.

The staff will receive Commendations from Devon Fire & Rescue Service.


Simon Tonge, executive director of the Devon zoo, said: "I'm very proud of the way zoo employees responded to this crisis, but I am not surprised.

"Keeping and curatorial staff put the lives of the animals they work with before their own.

"On the night they worked closely with the local firefighters to save the lives of the two elephants."

Neil Bemment and Jim Dicks will received their awards at a ceremony at Oldway Mansions, along with other firefighters.


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