Special Report
forwarded by AAF Correspondent: "S McC"

From a Press Release from the Hogle Zoo, Salt Lake City

3 Chimpanzees attack zoo employees

Saturday, February 27, 1999

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jim Murphy, (801) 584 1761

Stacy Phillips, (801) 584-1729

Employees Injured at Hogle Zoo

Two employees at Utah's Hogle zoo were injured this morning in an incident involving chimpanzees. Three chimpanzees were out of their primary enclosure and had access to the employee service area. Two of the animals became dangerously aggressive and an employee who was present in the building was seriously injured. Another employee who came to assist obtained minor injuries. Emergency protocol was implemented as soon as staff was aware of the situation. The initial priority was to protect the lives of the people involved and contain the animals. One chimpanzee was safely contained, but the other two had to be shot. One died of his injuries and the second is alive, but seriously injured and under veterinarian care. To ensure safety for the general public, all visitors who were present were escorted inside buildings until all animals were secured.

The Zoo is now attending to the emotional needs of the staff and the sense of loss the employees feel over the death of the animals and injuries to workers. "Our hearts go out to our injured employees and their families. Despite the tragic outcome of the situation, I commend the Zoo staff for their prompt and professional responses to this emergency. Their actions made a difference," says Hogle Zoo's Director Craig Dinsmore. "The Great Ape Building has been physically checked and at this time, no security problems were found. Staff will be investigating how this incident occurred."

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