City review of Little Rock Zoo accident praises employees for response, silent on how accident happened | Arkansas Blog

Monday, November 3, 2014

City review of Little Rock Zoo accident praises employees for response, silent on how accident happened

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 3:18 PM

click to enlarge ACCIDENT SCENE: Police photo shows where child fell into exhibit over a rail about three feet high.
  • ACCIDENT SCENE: Police photo shows where child fell into exhibit over a rail about three feet high.

Assistant City Manager James Jones
has presented his review of the accident Oct. 10 in which a three-year-old boy fell into the Little Rock Zoo jaguar exhibit. The child was injured but has recovered and been released from Children's Hospital.

The review shed no light on how the child happened to fall into the enclosure, but begins with response after the accident. It says only that the only eyewitnesses were the child's parents and grandparents and zoo employees were alerted by screams. They used a fire extinguisher to drive the cats away from the child and went into the exhibit by ladder to take him out.

The report details the response and how employees rescued the child, along with response time. James said the staff had recently drilled on emergency responses. After receiving the report, City Manager Bruce Moore expressed gratitude to the agencies involved — Zoo, MEMS and Fire Department. A city summary said:

The assessment from the internal review concluded that staff followed the appropriate emergency procedures and that proper training is in place for similar situations. The report confirms that the exhibit complies with all accreditation requirements. The Little Rock Zoo’s latest accreditation inspection was completed in July 2011 by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Accreditation Commission. The Big Cat Exhibit was also individually reviewed. The report concluded that the exhibit meets the requirements established in the Little Rock Zoo Safety Manual and Policy.

As part of the final recommendations, the Little Rock Zoo has been asked to invest in additional signage that reminds the public to remain behind all barriers. It is recommended that signage be placed throughout the Zoo. The City Manager’s Office also asked the Zoo to add signage listing a phone number that will reach a staff member instantly in the event of an emergency.


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