WACO, Texas (KWTX) – After recent incidents at the Dallas Zoo involving an escaped tiger and stolen monkeys, residents of Central Texas are concerned about the safety of the zoo.
“It’s a bit worrying because what kind of security measures do they have in place when three animals are stolen or run away?” Kathy Assaf, a Houston resident who visits Cameron Park Zoo, said of the events in Dallas.
Zoo officials at Waco’s private Cameron Park zoo confirmed that no such incident had occurred there, and attributed it to ongoing conversations and enhanced security measures to make sure all creatures, big and small, are safe and sound.
“We have security personnel, we have zookeepers here,” Dwayne Hills, deputy director of the Cameron Park Zoo, told KWTX. “We also monitor video systems and camera systems in all specific areas of the zoo.”
Other measures the mounds mentioned include perimeter checks that zoos must carry out before allowing animals into their exhibits to ensure that the enclosure is not damaged.
A visitor can feel safe knowing that Cameron Park Zoo has taken these precautions.
“This zoo makes me feel a little safer because I feel like they have a little more safety precautions than the Dallas Zoo,” Assaf said.
Hills says that as a zoo employee, it’s heartbreaking to hear about what’s happening in Dallas and other zoos around the country.
“The animal community is a small community, so we obviously work very closely with other zoos and aquariums, so what affects one area certainly affects others,” Hills said. “So we’re certainly thinking of our colleagues in Dallas, Houston, New York, Louisiana and Florida, and we’re supporting our fellow agencies.”
Hills encourages the public to continue visiting the Cameron Park Zoo, but is asking for the public’s help to keep everyone safe.
“If you see anything, please say something, especially if you notice anything strange or unusual or out of the ordinary,” Hills told KWTX. “Please bring this to our attention.”
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