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Wellington Zoo electrifies fence

Media release

Wellington Zoo electrifies fence to protect animals and people

Wellington Zoo has installed an electrified perimeter fence due to a marked increase in vandalism and trespassing in the Zoo after hours, General Manager Operations Mauritz Basson announced today.

'The entire perimeter fence of the Zoo has been electrified to discourage people from entering the Zoo after hours. We are worried about the safety of our animals and the people who are trespassing in the Zoo - if they jump into the wrong enclosure we could have a tragedy on our hands.'

'Zoo staff have arrived at work to discover beer bottles in different enclosures, a picnic table in the lion enclosure, break ins at our food kiosk and the destruction of the iconic kiwi sculpture that was outside our old nocturnal house.'

'These people have a real disregard for the Zoo and the dangerous nature of some of our animals. After these incidents the animals involved have also been unsettled.'

'The fence will deliver a strong, shock to those who try to breach it. The fence is electronically monitored and will activate an alarm at our security company and selected Zoo staff members should someone attempt to climb over.'

'There will be very clear signs on the perimeter fence warning possible fence-jumpers that it is electrified, so we would hope that they heed these to avoid a nasty shock,"

'It is a shame that such measures like this are necessary but in light of previous incidents mentioned, there is a need to improve the current security at the Zoo in order to enhance public safety and the safety of the wildlife," Damian Rapira-Davies, the Newtown Communty Constable said.

'The electrified fence will assist in deterring people from climbing into the Zoo after hours and prevent further offences being committed inside,' Damian said.

'It is important to mention that this change to security is aimed at the few people who take risks, having little regard for their own safety or the safety of the wildlife and enter the Zoo at night by climbing the perimeter fence. It will not in any way affect the enjoyment of the Zoo by the wider public,' Damian said.

ENDS

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