Zoo association satisfied with report into knife left in gorilla cage

CALGARY — The group that accredits zoos across Canada says it’s satisfied with a report into how a gorilla at the Calgary Zoo grabbed hold of a knife in its enclosure.


CALGARY — The group that accredits zoos across Canada says it’s satisfied with a report into how a gorilla at the Calgary Zoo grabbed hold of a knife in its enclosure.

Bill Peters, national director of the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums, said the zoo’s report explained how a keeper accidentally left the knife in the gorilla’s enclosure and what steps have been taken since.

Pictures snapped by onlookers show the gorilla, Barika, clutching the knife in her black, hairy hand and briefly holding it up near another animal.

Within minutes, the gorillas were called out of the enclosure by keepers and Barika placed the blade on a chair.

Zoo officials said at the time the primates don’t understand the idea of using weapons and were never in any real danger.

Peters said the zoo has taken steps to ensure, as much as humanly possible, that items aren’t left in an enclosure.

“It appeared to us that they were taking quite reasonable, adequate measures to ensure that they would maintain safe circumstances for all of their animals,” he said.

The zoo association can ask for a report on any incident of concern, whether reported by a zoo or pointed out by the public, Peters said. If needed, the zoo association can ask that further action be taken or even remove accreditation.

In this case, the issue is settled and won’t affect future accreditation, he said.

“It’s dealt with, as far as we’re concerned, entirely satisfactorily.”

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