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Local Zoo Talks Safety After Cincinnati Incident

Posted at 6:42 PM, May 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-30 19:42:31-04

The fallout from the gorilla encounter in Ohio had a lot of folks in the mid-state wondering about safety policies at the Nashville Zoo.

The Cinncinatti zoo, where the gorilla incident happened, and the Nashville Zoo are both accredited by the same organization -- the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

To get that accreditation, the zoos have to meet certain safety requirements among other things, which include response plans and active drills for animal escapes, and situations where humans or children get inside animal enclosures.

Folks at the Nashville Zoo say in just the last few weeks -- before the Cinncinati zoo incident --  the Nashville Zoo was undergoing roundtable discussions on what to do with various emergency scenarios.

They say in an emergency where a life is being threatened, tranquilizers can take too long to work, so they say they must leave lethal force on the table as an option, even though it's a last resort, as it was in Cinncinati.

“People might not think we have dangerous animals here at the zoo, but we still have a recovery team, we still go through training with our veterinarians on the possibility of tranquilizing our animals to recover them or, we do have a trained gun team if we do have to use lethal force,” said Greg Peccie with the Nashville Zoo.