Pretoria zoo gets more cops

2014-10-14 20:03
(<a href=>Tracy Angus-Hammond</a> via Twitter)

(Tracy Angus-Hammond via Twitter)

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Johannesburg - Increase security measures at the Pretoria Zoo caused the United States embassy to issue an updated advisory and lift its caution on Americans visiting the zoo, the National Zoological Gardens of SA (NZG) said on Tuesday.

"The advisory stated that the Embassy has noted that the City of Tshwane and the Tshwane metro police [and the SA Police Service[ have increased uniformed and non-uniformed police patrols inside the zoo," spokesperson Angeline Schwan said in a statement.

"It also stated that in view of the security updates it has lifted its caution on Americans visiting the NZG."

The embassy urged Americans visiting the zoo to make use of the zoo’s official parking facilities and avoid any "street car guards" who are not employed by the zoo.

"We have managed to rid the area of illegal hawkers and street vendors with the aim of creating a more appealing first impression of the zoo," Zoo spokesperson Craig Allenby said in a statement.

"The City’s Metropolitan Police and the SAPS have given their assurance of their continued presence in the area."

He said no crime incidents were reported since Heritage Day on 24 September, when about 5 000 people visited the zoo.

Security measures had been increased in the wake of two robberies committed in its proximity.

On September, Allenby said there had been two robberies in the area - one in October last year and another three weeks ago.

However, both had taken place outside the zoo, when visitors who had chosen not to park in the ground's designated areas returned to their vehicles.

He said the most recent robbery had taken place in late afternoon when visitors, from South Africa, who had parked "quite a distance away" returned to their car. No weapons were involved and an arrest was made shortly afterwards.

Allenby said it was "unfortunate" that the zoo was singled out regarding crime and that it was not yet clear as to what the catalyst had been for the issuing of the embassy's advisory.

Read more on:    us  |  crime

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