Dallas Zoo Updates Security Measures

Dallas Zoo Entrance | Image by Timothy L Barnes/Shutterstock

Following several high-profile security breaches, the Dallas Zoo is updating the facility’s security measures.

Within the past two months, a clouded leopard briefly went missing, a vulture died suspiciously, and two monkeys were stolen from their enclosure, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

“We were all shocked and angry at the recent series of events,” Dallas Zoo presentation Philanthropic Leader Lois Finkelman said while speaking to the City Council’s Quality of Life, Arts, and Culture Committee on Tuesday. “The fact that we should experience this kind of activity was distressing to us.”

Dallas Zoo Associate Director Sean Greene added that these incidents were “unprecedented” and the security breaches were “unacceptable.”

Finkelman and Greene, along with Parks & Recreation Assistant Director Ryan O’Connor, delivered a presentation to the committee recapping these incidents and giving an update on the zoo’s security measures which have been and are continuing to be strengthened.

“Moving forward, we have to figure out where we can get better,” Greene said.

Enhanced security measures include a strengthened perimeter fence, an expanded security camera system, and more security lighting, along with motion detection and alarms that can notify staff of suspicious movement. There will also be increased night-time patrols by private security and Dallas police.

Additionally, third-party security experts are being brought in to assess the safety and security of the zoo.

“We are appreciative of what you all have done to step up your game,” said Councilmember Carolyn King Arnold. “The zoo is a jewel in this city.”

Arnold said she wishes to support the zoo in building up its security as much as she can. She also rejected any calls people have made to replace zoo management over these incidents.

“It’s not about the blame, it’s about how you react,” added Councilmember Chad West. “You’ve given me a lot of confidence today that things are gonna be fine.”

Councilmembers Omar Narvaez, Paula Blackmon, and Casey Thomas echoed support for the Dallas Zoo and reiterated its importance to the Dallas community.

“Your response to these incidents has been exemplary,” said Councilmember Paul Ridley; however, he cautioned staff against making enhancements that are obtrusive and negatively affect the experience for visitors.

Greene agreed with this and assured the committee that the zoo is committed to enhancing its security while maintaining a family-friendly environment.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *