Mill Mountain Zoo officials say there are regular emergency preparedness drills and safety training to ensure the overall welfare of their animals and the safety of visitors. The zoo issued a brief statement but declined our interview request to discuss issues raised by the Cincinnati Zoo incident, one in which officials had to kill a gorilla in efforts to save a four-year-old boy who had broken in to its enclosure. We requested an opportunity to discuss what steps Mill Mountain takes to ensure there are no unwanted human/zoo animal interactions — and how the zoo prepares to handle any that might nonetheless occur. Here is the statement in full:
The Board and Staff at Mill Mountain Zoo, sends our support to all involved with this weekend’s tragedy at the Cincinnati Zoo. We support our colleagues and peers at the Cincinnati Zoo who constantly prepare and train for these type of events which we all hope will never happen. Like all facilities accredited by the Association for Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the staff and volunteers at the Mill Mountain Zoo regularly conduct emergency preparedness drills and safety training to ensure the overall welfare of our animal collection and the safety of our patrons. We have no further comment on this incident at this time.