In light of a scary situation at the Cincinnatti Zoo, a conversation over safety is at the top of minds of zoo officials an visitors and Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport.
Cell phone video from the Cincinnati Zoo that went viral over the weekend after a four year old boy climbs through a railing and falls into the 400-pound gorilla’s enclosure.
About ten minutes later the zoo’s dangerous animal response team shot and killed the gorilla to rescue the boy who is safe and expected to be fine.
It’s a situation zoo’s across the nation have sympathized with including staff at Bridgeport’s Beardsley Zoo.
“To have something like this happen is just devastating for everybody. It’s not just the staff but the visitors, and really just a sad day,” said Beardsley Zoo's director, Gregg Dancho.
Dancho said there are signs warning visitors about not crossing barriers posted at every zoo exhibit like those housing tigers, leopards and wolves.
“We try and to impress at all times that these are wild animals these are not pets,” said Dancho.
Zoo officials also ask people not to throw items in the enclosures. Employees are constantly walking the premises to ensure the rules are being followed.
Parents say they play a big part in keeping kids safe as well.
“You never know what animal will grab you child and what danger they could be in so definitely make sure your child is close by you,” said Shirley Cassagnol of Bridgeport.
“Make sure they don’t leave your sight. Always pay attention to them because you never know what can happen,” said Kristy Agosto of Waterbury.
While they hope never to be in a similar situation, Beardsley officials would be forced to make the call about shooting one of their animals if someone was in potential danger.