Louisville Zoo officials talk about safety after gorilla killed - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Zoo officials talk about safety after gorilla killed in Cincinnati

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The shooting death of a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo continues to be a hot topic in Kentuckiana and across the nation. Most people were surprised to learn that the Cincinnati Zoo has a response team ready to handle a disaster if it happens.

On Tuesday, officials at the Louisville Zoo talked about the incident.

Zoo officials here do not want to play Monday morning quarterback, but they understand the situation.

That's because there's a gorilla sanctuary at the Louisville Zoo and even an emergency response team -- just like the one forced to put the gorilla down in Cincinnati.

And the gorilla sanctuary is always a popular attraction at the Louisville Zoo.

"We have been coming here for 47 years," said Nancy Morris, who was visiting the Louisville Zoo with her grandson.

"We have ten grandchildren, and this is the best thing going."

Morris has been watching the situation in Cincinnati in the wake of the popular gorilla being shot and killed.

"I was horrified for the parent first, but for the fact that the child was allowed to be close enough to be in that situation, and it's tragic," she said.

Over the weekend, Cincinnati's beloved gorilla Harambe was put down after a 4-year-old child fell into the gorilla exhibit.

"I have no doubt that they made the decision that they needed to make, given the situation," said Steven Taylor with the Louisville Zoo.

Taylor has a close relationship with the Cincinnati Zoo and does not want to second guess what happened there. He said he understands why it happened and said gorillas have incredible strength, which is why there's also an emergency response team at the Louisville Zoo.

"Our goal is to make sure that we keep guests safe, staff safe and the animals safe," Taylor said. "And so we want to practice and have all of the tools available so that we can achieve that."

Meanwhile on social media, people are second guessing the Cincinnati Zoo and the child's mother.

"I have ten grandchildren. I know how fast they can get away," Morris said.

There's even a Facebook page called "Justice for Harambe," with more than 100,000 likes. Morris worries some of the criticism and name calling of the child mother goes too far.

She said, "I am appalled at that," she said. "I think that people are way too judgmental today, and were they to walk in another person's shoes, it would be totally different."

The Louisville zoo is locked down several times a year to allow the response team to run drills and practice for emergencies.

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