Zoo ordered to repair fences to stop the lions escaping… and humans getting in
LONDON’S second largest zoo has been ordered to repair fences at its big cat enclosure to stop them escaping.
Government experts told managers at Chessington World of Adventures to improve security surrounding the lions and tigers.
A report said fencing at the rear of the enclosure at the site near Kingston was “in need of attention and improvement”. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs warned that it was “essential” that Chessington upgraded fencing to prevent escapes or visitors climbing into pens.
After the inspection last winter, security at the Trail of Kings enclosure was improved. Lions, tigers, leopards and gorillas are housed in this part of the zoo.
The document said: “It is essential that a risk assessment be carried out…to ensure that the perimeter boundary including all entry and exit points are appropriately designed, constructed and managed.” One million people visit Chessington every year.
In a statement it said it had taken action to protect members of the public, saying: “In line with the risk assessment recommended by the council we have invested heavily in areas around the zoo and are constantly assessing and maintaining our perimeter fencing as we do with all aspects of the park and zoo.”
Chessington has been criticised during previous inspections, including for failing to heed request to improve conditions for animals. The latest report praised “much higher standards shown by staff” and greater commitment from management.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org