Calgary Zoo cleared in gorilla knife incident

A great reason to take another look at those chilling photographs

Almost two months ago now, photographs of a gorilla at the Calgary Zoo clutching a dagger and apparently contemplating the murder of a cell mate, surfaced on the Internet and went viral. Originally printed in the Calgary Herald, the shots were snapped by Joe and Heike Scheffler, a couple visiting the zoo who later very sensibly called for zoo staff to be more careful with their tools (the knife had carelessly been left behind by a zoo employee doing maintenance in the enclosure). Now the Canadian Association of Zoos, which has cleared the Calgary Zoo in relation to the incident, has echoed the Schefflers’s pleas. “They’ve reviewed the way they handle that sort of thing with their staff and we are quite satisfied that they are taking appropriate measures,” said a Canadian Association of Zoos official. In fact, the Calgary Zoo has had a run of bad luck over the past several years. Earlier this year, a Turkmenian Markhor—a kind of wild goat—died after losing its footing on a play structure. Dozens of stingrays on display at the zoo died mysteriously last year. And the zoo saw the deaths of four gorillas and Hazina the Hippo (who died at the zoo after travelling to Denver by truck) between August 2006 and October 2007 alone.

Calgary Herald

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