BREAKING NEWS: Update on Columbus Zoo intruders
At approximately 1:15 a.m. on Apr. 27, 2012 a Columbus Zoo and Aquarium staff member noticed two individuals walking through the North America area of the Zoo. She called out to them and when they did not respond she notified Zoo security. The Delaware County Sheriff’s department was called to assist with the search and responded quickly with multiple cruisers and officers as well as a helicopter.
Kyle Pierce, 21, and Sir Jaredd Branner, 18, were apprehended on Zoo property at approximately 2:20 a.m. They have been charged with criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct. Kyle Pierce worked as a seasonal employee in the Zoo’s food and beverage department in 2009 and 2010.
The Zoo’s animal care team have reported all of the animals are well and there does not appear to be any damage to Zoo property. A thorough review of the incident is underway and the problem with the gate the suspects were able to squeeze through has been corrected.
“We practice our emergency protocols on a regular basis and these drills often include area law enforcement and emergency personnel” said Dale Schmidt, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President and CEO. “Our procedures and team work paid off today.”