Zoo break-in reported

CNJ staff

A break-in at the zoo appears to be the result of bored youth looking for a place to skateboard, zoo officials said.

Hillcrest Park Zoo Director Herschel Arnold said Friday when employees discovered a full length cut in the 8-foot perimeter fence on the back side of the zoo, they quickly surmised skateboarders had gone through the fence to get to a concrete culvert on the other side.

“It’s got a cement ramp that is just perfect for skateboarders and they took advantage of it,” he said.

It is the first incident of its kind Arnold said he can remember in his more than 20 years at the zoo.

He said cutting the fence took a lot of effort and planning.

Arnold said a police report was filed and the fence was quickly repaired. He classified the impact as minimal.
But the implications of having someone in the zoo unattended is a concern, he said.

The animals and fixtures were undisturbed, he said.

“Fortunately they didn’t go into any pens. It looks like they did a little skating for a while and then they left,” Arnold said.