Monday, November 10, 2014

Gorilla Tragedy Update - News Article reveals "new" information

From this article

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Hydraulic-door-that-killed-baby-gorilla-at-SF-Zoo-5882033.php

"A hydraulic door that crushed an endangered young gorilla to death at the San Francisco Zoo on Friday night was custom-made with a fully functional manual shut-off switch, a zoo spokesman said Sunday.
The instant-stop switch, though, wasn’t pressed in time to save Kabibe, a 16-month-old gorilla, who unexpectedly darted under the hydraulic door as it was closing while she was being moved into her night quarters after the zoo closed."
article snipped...
"Dr. Elliot Katz, a veterinarian and founder of In Defense of Animals, said his organization is going to call on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the group that accredits zoos, to require automatic shut-off systems for hydraulic doors.
“There should be a system in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said. “It’s just another tragedy waiting to happen. It always takes something like this to have people wake up.”"
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So, two questions?  Why wasn't the shut-off hit in time?   If a shut-off doesn't work when pressed in an Emergency, then what good is it?  The Zoo is supposed to work on the Buddy System with Code Red Animals.  There should have been someone at the switch and someone at the door watching.  I still don't understand the "darting". Was she coming in and going back out?  Why hasn't a full picture of what happened been painted for us so we can understand this as an unavoidable accident, rather than one that is questionable?
I think its great that there will be some attempt to force better guidelines from the AZA, but this has happened twice before in other Zoos and they have done nothing to put to use doors with motion detectors.

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