Officials say Brookfield Zoo visitors were forced to shelter for hours after the threat
Brookfield Zoo received a “potential threat” on Tuesday, forcing visitors into a shelter-in-place for several hours.
Visitors and staff safely exited Brookfield Zoo after being asked to shelter in place Tuesday afternoon while officials investigated a potential threat.
According to Brookfield Zoo’s official Twitter account at 8:10 p.m., all visitors and staff were safely released from the zoo. Around 8:10 a.m. zoo officials and Brookfield police gave the “all-clear.”
In a tweet at approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday, the zoo asked people to stay sheltered inside the facility until officials cleared the scene “out of an abundance of caution.”
“The is working with Brookfield Zoo Police to investigate the situation throughout the park and surrounding area actively… We ask that guest’s on-site shelter be in place until law enforcement gives the all-clear,” the zoo said in a statement. Officials Posted on Twitter.
According to Brookfield Zoo Police Chief Mike Pendola, at approximately 5:15 p.m., 911 dispatchers received a call from the crisis-intervention line about guests at the zoo and the caller threatening to harm themselves.
Information from the call was described as “vague” but authorities instituted a lockdown and worked to methodically clear the park with the help of Riverside and Brookfield police.
Officers worked to clear public areas and buildings over the next several hours, but the person was not in the park when the call was made and it was determined that there were no active threats at this time.
The FBI assists in the investigation, but further details on the suspect were not immediately available.
Zoo officials said they made the request “out of an abundance of caution” after receiving a tip of possible danger at the 216-acre zoological park in the western suburbs.
Officials are “sweeping the compound and releasing the zoo, building through the building. If you are on-site, please be patient until law enforcement releases you.