Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Tiger 'could jump fence' into Regents Park

Tiger ‘could jump fence’ into Regents park. by John Dunne.
Friday, 23 March 2007 - Source The London Paper
London Zoo has promised a security shake-up after inspectors found that big cats could leap perimeter fences and maul park-goers.Experts from Westminster Council discovered that picnickers, joggers and tourists enjoying neighbouring Regent’s Park face a potential threat from the zoo’s dangerous animals.The animals are kept in high-security compounds but if they did break out, a 6ft perimeter fence would not hold them back for long, according to the inquiry.

The inspectors said in their report: “It is a concern that, should there be a dangerous animal escape, it is unlikely that the existing perimeter fence will contain a dangerous animal, like a tiger for example, for a reasonable period of time allowing the capture team to do their work.”The zoo’s Sumatran tigers have an enclosure with a roof but the Asian lions are surrounded by a moat and a brick wall. Zoo director David Field said: “These findings are from very respected colleagues and we will take them on board. We will review our security – as we are always doing anyway – but we are confident that the animals cannot escape. "The inspectors recommended the zoo’s licence be approved despite the security risk and singled out its zookeepers for special praise. If an animal did happen to escape, special “armed” keepers would target it with tranquilliser darts or, in extreme circumstances, live ammunition."

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