The measures come after Saturday night’s commotion, when young people fought during the Zoo Lights festival and set off fireworks on the grounds. Two youths were found with gunshot wounds several blocks away, and authorities are investigating whether the incidents are connected.
Zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson said violence was highly unusual for Zoo Lights, which for 13 years has drawn large crowds for an LED light display through New Year’s Day.
“We take security very seriously — security of our guests, security of the staff and security of the animals,” Baker-Masson said. “We want people to feel safe and secure, and we believe we are going to provide that experience.”
The people shot were initially reported in stable condition and conscious. Police said Sunday they were not aware of any changes and have not released the identities or ages of the victims.
D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), whose district includes the zoo, said she was talking to authorities about deploying “violence interrupters” to prevent any retaliation for the shootings.
“I want people in and around the zoo to know this was not a sort of random shooting, because these people were apparently known to each other, and police have a definite focus to make sure this won’t happen again,” Cheh said.
Allison Klein contributed to this report.