San Francisco

San Francisco Zookeepers Allege Leaders Ignored Safety Concerns

Five San Francisco zookeepers say a baby gorilla may not have been crushed to death under an electric door if zoo leaders had responded to their concerns about the enclosure's safety.

They tell the San Francisco Chronicle Thursday that the 30-year-old gorilla enclosure had a flawed layout, problems with the doors and was understaffed.

The 16-month-old gorilla named Kabibe (kuh-BEE'-bay) died Nov. 7 when she unexpectedly darted under the door as it closed.

Zoo Executive Director Tanya Peterson has said the worker operating the hydraulic door failed to keep her hand on an emergency stop button as required.

An outside investigator found the enclosure is outdated and unsafe.

Zoo officials declined to comment on the keepers' complaints, but Peterson has said the U.S. Department of Agriculture routinely inspects the enclosure.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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