In the weeks leading up to the start of the 2016 season, the Memphis Zoos were preparing for the arrival of their newest African giant.
The Memphis Zoo’s director, Michael Johnson, said he wanted to make sure they were prepared.
“We’re going to need a lot of security,” Johnson said.
“I want to make a very clear statement to all the people of Memphis that we’re not going to let people come in here who we don’t want to see.
For the zoo, security is always a concern. “
It’s a very serious event, and we’re going out of our way to make it safe for everyone to come in and have a look at what we have.”
For the zoo, security is always a concern.
“Security is always on top of it,” Johnson explained.
“If they do get in here, they can be apprehended and prosecuted.
If you go to the zoo and they get in there and are carrying a firearm, they could potentially shoot you.”
The zoo’s security director, James Epps, agreed.
“You’ve got to be very, very careful,” Epps said.
The zoo will use a large perimeter to protect the gorilla exhibit, and they have a large fence, a large glass wall, and a large screen that will be visible from the public.
Epps also told ABC News the zoo’s staff will monitor the event from the safety of their home.
“The whole plan is to make everybody feel safe, but we are very careful about making sure that everybody is safe and in a safe environment,” Epps said.
There is a lot more security and they are working very closely with the Memphis Police Department to make that happen.
When asked about the security at the zoo when the gorilla was announced, Johnson was emphatic about it.
“There is security,” he said.
But that does not mean it will be perfect.
“For example, there will be an additional gate for the visitors,” Johnson added.
“And that gate will be at a higher elevation than the others, and it will only be visible when the visitor is inside.”
The Memphis Zaws will be closing for the season on Dec. 6.
There will be a huge celebration on Saturday, Dec. 7, which will include a large parade and the Memphis Coliseum concert by local rock group Stereosonic.
But Johnson stressed the zoo is not planning any big events for the holidays.
“Right now, we’re still focused on keeping people safe,” Johnson told ABC.
“This is a very important holiday for us, so we’re doing everything we can to make things safe.”