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National Zoo proposes permanent security checkpoints and more

National Zoo proposes permanent security checkpoints and more. (ABC7)

The National Zoo is the only Smithsonian public venue that does not have security screening in place. They’d like that to change that along with a few other things.

“This security checkpoint plan has not yet been approved by the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), and the Smithsonian will ask for federal funding in FY20 and 21,” said Smithsonian Institution’s Pamela Baker-Masson.

The zoo currently has 13 entrances for pedestrians and the goal is to reduce that number to four, in the near future.

Under the proposal, the Connecticut Avenue entry, the bus lot drop off section and the lower zoo would remain open.

“I would think in this day and age, limiting it….might be a good idea. However, I don’t know how it would impact he community. I live in Lorton, Va. So that’s definitely something they would have to consider,” said Kelly Tatian.

“I’m kind of indifferent, I think I mostly go through certain ones on the side, the one on the bottom. The one on the top. I don’t think I’ve used all thirteen,” said Chris Lin.

“If someone has bad intentions, they are going to find a way,” said Amanda Yowell.

“The safety and security of our visitors, staff and animals are the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s No. 1 priority. We are installing proper security checkpoints at the Zoo. The Zoo is not the same physically as other Smithsonian buildings. We are a sprawling outdoor park that does not have defined and controlled entrances and exits. As such, we have to build security structures versus retrofit existing exits or entrances,” said Baker-Masson.

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