With the recent shooting and killing of a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, the Henry Doorly Zoo says they practice emergency plans throughout the year to ensure the safety of animals and visitors.
Besides the 42-inch barrier around all the exhibits, the zoo staff says they have 24-hour surveillance and stress that zoo personnel is constantly monitoring that animals and visitors are not trying to get in or out of where they’re not supposed to be.
“Even though you may not see us, we keep an eye on the animals and visitors and like to be very present throughout all the exhibits to ensure the safety of everyone,” says Dan Cassidy, the general curator at the zoo.
Cassidy says it’s not likely an animal would escape it’s enclosure, but if it did, they would assess each situation and handle it accordingly, but the first course of action is always to capture the animal or immobilize it.
“The last course of action would be to kill the animal or shoot the animal if we had to,” says Cassidy. “But human life always takes precedent over animal life.”
Although Cassidy says he feels the zoo has a safe operation established, it’s also up to the parents to keep track of their kids.
“The little guys can get away from you and climb under and over stuff so hopefully that doesn’t present a dangerous situation but it’s good to know where they’re at at all times,” Cassidy added.