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Zoo Atlanta Recieves Final Inspection | Community Spirit

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Zoo Atlanta Recieves Final Inspection

 ATLANTA - September 14, 2010 - Zoo Atlanta has received the final inspection report from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) following a September 9 assessment of the circumstances surrounding a tiger rattlesnake’s escape from quarantine on August 27, 2010. During a thorough examination of all Zoo Atlanta facilities, DNR inspectors noted the three points below as the only areas requiring correction.


As to the cause of the snake’s escape, the DNR report validated the original conclusion made by Zoo Atlanta officials during a previous internal investigation, attributing the incident to human error. The caretaker is an experienced professional who has been disciplined in accordance with Zoo Atlanta policies.  Procedures for the handling of quarantined reptiles have already been adjusted and are being formally revised.


The DNR inspection questioned the housing of a small mammal in the same quarantine facility as the reptiles sent to Zoo Atlanta as a last-minute request from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Because of the time-sensitive nature of the USFWS request, the confiscated reptiles were housed in the Zoo’s only available quarantine space, adjacent to the enclosure housing the small mammal, which had overnight access to an exterior yard. After review, Zoo Atlanta officials concur with the report’s suggestion that this lack of secondary containment was an error contributing to the circumstances following the human error.


The DNR report additionally suggested the repair of minor, non-structural damage to an off-exhibit enclosure for African lions. Corrective action was taken on September 9, immediately following the inspection. Zoo Atlanta intends to meet the October 11 deadline for all recommendations identified by DNR during the inspection.