Police arrest man after white powder with glass shards found in National Zoo attractions


(Gary Cameron/Reuters)

A man was arrested at the National Zoo on Monday afternoon after authorities said he left behind a suspicious powder with glass shards in the Reptile Discovery House and the Small Mammal House, according to a spokeswoman.

The D.C. fire department said the substance was not toxic — an official described it as corn starch — but it forced zoo officials to close the two attractions to visitors. The zoo also closed the Invertebrate House because it connects with the reptile house.

Pamela Baker-Masson, a spokeswoman for the zoo, said the three buildings remained closed the remainder of the day so that police could conclude their investigation and workers could clean. The zoo will be closed should the government shut down.

Authorities said he incident occurred about 3 p.m. when a patron notified park officials about the suspicious substance. Baker-Masson said officers with the National Zoological Park Police responded and arrested a suspect. His name was not immediately released pending charges being filed.

Baker-Masson said no visitor nor animal was injured. She described attendance as light.

local

crime

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Local

local

crime

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.