Mill Mountain Zoo: statement, but no interviews on issues raised by Cincinnati Zoo incident

Cincinnati Zoo photo

Cincinnati Zoo photo

Mill Mountain Zoo officials say there are regular emergency preparedness drills and safety training to ensure the overall welfare of their animals and the safety of visitors. The zoo issued a brief statement but declined our interview request to discuss issues raised by the Cincinnati Zoo incident, one in which officials had to kill a gorilla in efforts to save a four-year-old boy who had broken in to its enclosure. We requested an opportunity to discuss what steps Mill Mountain takes to ensure there are no unwanted human/zoo animal interactions — and how the zoo prepares to handle any that might nonetheless occur. Here is the statement in full:

The Board and Staff at Mill Mountain Zoo, sends our support to all involved with this weekend’s tragedy at the Cincinnati Zoo.  We support our colleagues and peers at the Cincinnati Zoo who constantly prepare and train for these type of events which we all hope will never happen. Like all facilities accredited by the Association for Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the staff and volunteers at the Mill Mountain Zoo regularly conduct emergency preparedness drills and safety training to ensure the overall welfare of our animal collection and the safety of our patrons. We have no further comment on this incident at this time.

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Guns and Hoses softball returns on Saturday

wfir-defaultRoanoke City police and firefighters will raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association – using bats and balls – on Saturday. More from WFIR’s Gene Marrano:

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RBA offers “No Bills Night” tomorrow

wfir-defaultThe Roanoke Bar Association, in conjunction with the Young Lawyers Conference of the Virginia State Bar, is offering “No Bills Night” tomorrow. WFIR’s Starr Anderson has the details.

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The “No Bills Night” phone number is (540) 342-2000

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On-line replaces DMV as most popular Virginia voter registration sites — but is it secure?

Voting CheckboxOn-line voter registration is rapidly replacing the DMV as the most common site for Virginians to join voter rolls — and the rate of new voters is on pace to surpass that of four years ago. As WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, state elections officials say the on-line registration is more secure than the traditional paper system.

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Click here for the Virginia Department of Elections Citizen Portal

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Botetourt group needs to raise money for Greenfield dig

Botetourt-CountyA group formed to protest the removal of historic slave quarters from the Greenfield Center in Botetourt County has another mission these days – but the clock is ticking as WFIR’s Gene Marrano reports:

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Striking Verizon workers to return Wednesday

Verizon-WhiteA union says nearly 40,000 striking Verizon employees will return to work Wednesday after reaching a tentative contract agreement. It includes 1,300 new call center jobs, nearly 11 percent in raises over four years and the first contract for Verizon wireless store workers. The Communications Workers of America union announced the tentative pact Monday with Verizon Communications Inc. They’d reached an agreement in principle Friday but hadn’t released details or a date for the workers’ return from one of the largest strikes in the United States in recent years. Verizon says a tentative agreement to end one of the largest strikes in the U.S. in recent years is good for both employees and the business. Union members will vote on the deal after returning to work. Landline and cable employees in nine Eastern states and Washington, D.C., struck in mid-April. Other workers stepped in, but there were some holdups.

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