CINCINNATI (AP) — A sweep by bomb sniffing dogs found nothing suspicious at the Cincinnati Zoo on Thursday after police received a threatening call about a device being left there that prompted officials to evacuate the zoo.
About 50 visitors and 75 staff members were evacuated safely after the call came into a police district station around 3 p.m., said Cincinnati police Lt. Steve Saunders said. He would not comment when asked what was said during the call, citing an active investigation of the threat.
The zoo is scheduled to reopen at its normal time Friday morning.
The zoo has been the target of critics on social media and elsewhere after a lowland gorilla named Harambe was shot and killed by the zoo’s special response team in May when a 3-year-old boy fell 15 feet into a moat inside the gorilla enclosure.
Zoo officials said the decision was made to kill 17-year-old Harambe to protect the boy, who was treated for scrapes but was otherwise unharmed.
The zoo reopened its gorilla exhibit in June with a higher, reinforced barrier.
The Hamilton County prosecutor concluded no charges were warranted after the boy scampered off from his mother, got through some bushes and fell into the moat.
Harambe’s death was mourned, mocked and satirized in a social media response that swept the globe after the shooting.
The zoo has said it was not amused by memes picturing the ape with wings and a halo, tongue-in-cheek online petitions seeking to add his name to Mount Rushmore or to the hometown Bengals and other reactions. Zoo Director Thane Maynard told The Associated Press by email that the zoo family is “still healing.”
Without comment, the zoo deactivated its Twitter account last month.