Denver Zoo Welcomes ‘omen Of Evil’ Baby Animal

Officials closed the Denver Zoo and evacuated about 1,000 guests Tuesday afternoon after someone threatened to crash an airplane into the facility — a threat the zoo initially called “credible,” but which police later discounted.

Visitors and staff were evacuated from the zoo around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, zoo spokesman Jake Kubie said. “There has been a threat that we’re taking seriously,” he said.

At the time, zoo officials didn’t reveal the nature of the security issue. Shortly thereafter, Denver police tweeted that they were investigating the threat, and that it “has not been deemed to be credible at this time.”

Update: Denver Police investigated and deemed that the threat was not credible. The Zoo will open at the normal time tomorrow morning. We’ll share more information as it becomes available. https://t.co/vUWxrSkmIZ

— Denver Zoo (@DenverZoo) October 2, 2018

After the zoo had been fully evacuated, Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson explained what was behind the closure — someone called in a threat to crash a plane into the zoo — and said investigators had determined it wasn’t credible.

“We’re still investigating: Who made the call? Who made the threat?” Jackson said at a news conference. “If you call in a threat, it is a criminal act.”

Patrick Traylor, The Denver PostDenver Police Cpl. Chris Archuleta waves on a car leaving the parking lot at the Denver Zoo on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. An emergency closure was triggered at the zoo following what officials deemed a “credible threat.”

The zoo will reopen Wednesday, officials said.

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Bert Vescolani, president of the Denver Zoo, said about 1,000 guests were evacuated. “Our team made the call to evacuate the zoo.”

Zoo staff and officials train for evacuation protocol and procedures, Vescolani said, keeping in mind that safety to visitors, staff and animals is paramount.

“We were on it,” he said. “I think it went very well from our perspective.”

Vescolani said the zoo is looking at some type of compensation for visitors who were inconvenienced, he said. Officials also encouraged the public to visit the zoo.

“It’s a good place, a safe place,” said Vescolani, who has been on the job for three weeks. “We have a crazy strong (safety) record.”

Updated 12:30 p.m. Oct. 3, 2018 Due to a reporting error, Denver Zoo President Bert Vescolani’s name originally was misspelled in this story.

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