Several animals have been injured after a fire has broke out at the National Reptile Zoo in Gowran, Co Kilkenny.
The blaze began shortly before 9.30am this morning and it is understood that no-one was injured but one of the animals died.
Additionally, the entire anti-venom stock for the country has been destroyed.
A snake has died and others have suffered smoke inhalation due to the fire.
It is believed an electrical fault occurred with a heat pad which was used for the cobra.
All the animals have now been evacuated and the fire has been dealt with by the Fire Service.
Owner James Hennessy said he hopes to have the Zoo reopened by tomorrow. The zoo will close for the remainder of the day.
Due to the fact that the blaze broke out in the venomous snake section, Mr Hennessy had to go into the building with members of the Fire Service and remove all the creatures himself.
He says it’s a very sad day for him and his staff but they will get the zoo back up and running.
Units of Kilkenny Fire Service are still on the scene.
The reptiles have proved extremely popular since being set-up in 2006. Many of the animals include snakes, lizards, crocodiles, tarantula spiders and tortoises.