Zoo’s Hydraulic Door That Killed Gorilla Had Manual Off Switch

November 12, 2014

A San Francisco Zoo spokesman says the hydraulic door that killed the zoo’s youngest gorilla had a manual off-switch but workers did not get to it quickly enough to keep the door from crushing the 15-month-old ape.

Zoo spokesman Danny Latham Jr. told the San Francisco Chronicle that the switch was tested on Sunday and found to be working properly.

The gorilla was killed Friday when she unexpectedly darted under the closing door while she and other animals were being moved into their nighttime enclosures.

Veterinarian Elliot Katz, who founded the nonprofit group In Defense of Animals, says the national organization that sets standards for zoos can prevent future accidents by requiring power doors to have sensors or other mechanisms that will stop them when they come into contact with objects.

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