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Denver Zoo open after threat determined to be unfounded

Denver Zoo reopened Wednesday morning and is operating normally after a threat that was called into the zoo on Tuesday was found to be "not credible".
Credit: Courtesy Denver Zoo

KUSA — The Denver Zoo reopened Wednesday after it was evacuated Tuesday afternoon due to an unsubstantiated threat alleging someone was going to crash a plane into the facility, according to the Denver Police Department.

It will be open normal hours on Wednesday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Investigators did not find Tuesday's threat credible, and are working to determine who made the call, Denver Police Department spokesperson Sonny Jackson said.

“We take that seriously, we take all threats seriously,” Jackson said.

Jackson said the threat was called into the Denver Zoo, and that officials there alerted DPD. A spokesperson for the zoo said they got the call about 3 p.m. Tuesday.

During the investigation, people who were evacuated from the zoo gathered in surrounding City Park. Some roads were blocked off, but they have since been reopened and visitors have been able to get to their vehicles to leave.

Denver Zoo CEO Bert Vescolani said around 1,000 people were at the zoo when the threat was called in.

“Whenever we get a call, if there’s a situation that our staff feel the least bit uncomfortable with, we go through the protocols and procedures and get through that process,” Vescolani said.

A Denver International Airport spokesperson said they were notified about the threat involving a plane, but that they don’t believe it departed from DIA or that it was the type of aircraft that would.

Vescolani said the zoo will have more security in place in wake of the incident.

“We want to make sure guests and animals are safe,” he said. “Anytime we get any kind of call in, we’re going to take it seriously.”

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