Officials Ramp Up Security Ahead of Zoo's Easter Monday Event

Smithsonian National Zoo and D.C. city officials are preparing to enact sweeping new security measures, possibly including metal detectors, for big events. 

The changes come after several violent incidents in recent years. Last April, two men suffered non-life threatening injuries in shootings just outside the zoo during the Easter Monday family event.

Zoo Director Dennis Kelly has drafted a safety plan after several months of review.

"We're going to be implementing access control similar to what you'd see at museums, at sporting events around town," Kelly said.

The safety measures will be enacted on "high visitation days" like Easter Monday and Brew at the Zoo. Safety officials will conduct random bag checks and visitor screening that may, in some cases, include metal detectors.

D.C. Council Member Mary Cheh met with Kelly and other officials to review the safety plan.

"Our aim is to keep the zoo open to the public," Cheh said. "I think it will be minimum, but never the less necessary."

Contact Us