WASHINGTON - The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is hoping to tighten security with several proposed changes.
The zoo has had to deal with security concerns in recent years after a shooting on Easter Monday in 2015. This spring break, temporary security checkpoints were used to monitor the crowds.
Nearly 25,000 people visit the National Zoo daily.
A proposed multi-phase project would see additional fencing go up around the zoo in order to close gaps in existing fencing.
The zoo also says the fence would be designed to reduce the possibility of someone using a vehicle to ram vulnerable areas.
Other proposed changes include reducing the number of pedestrian entrances from 13 to three. Zoo officials said visitors would be able to walk into the zoo as they do now, but on high-visitation days, security at the entrances will include bag checks and additional screening as needed.
“The security checkpoints will be similar to those experienced by the public at museums, major sporting events and entertainment venues," the Smithsonian said in a statement.
A fourth entrance would be added later at a soon-to-be-constructed parking garage at the zoo.
If approved, the project would take several years, according to the Smithsonian.