However, there’s no way it should be allowed to keep you or your family away from this superb local attraction in the future.
Keep the free days for some residents but find good ways to stop the violence in the future.
Don’t let the actions of some hoodlums dictate how we act in the future in encouraging other people to visit the zoo, either. Tuesday’s incident doesn’t mean the zoo is unsafe to visit.
Last year — when a similar violent incident occurred during another free day in April — the zoo went on to have record attendance, more than 880,000 people.
That’s very encouraging.
On Tuesday, in the minutes after the reports of shots fired at the zoo, people immediately got on Twitter to offer their emotional responses.
• Stop offering free days for Clay and Jackson counties’ residents.
• Make adults accompany all kids.
• Stop going to the zoo.
All of these knee-jerk responses are wrong.
My immediate reaction on Twitter: “Don’t panic over ‘free day’ at zoo problems. Cities have all kinds of woes. Find ways to keep the good programs for benefit of all.”
I trust that Zoo Director Randy Wisthoff and other city officials will come up with a better way to keep the zoo safe in the future and for some kind of free days to continue.
Free days of one kind or another have been offered at the zoo for about two decades. Tens of thousands of people have gone to the facility in that time, for safe and enjoyable visits, with no problems at all.
The troubles of the last few years are isolated examples of bad behavior that can occur when fights break out, mostly among young people.
The city and zoo need to find the best, most rational ways to reduce the opportunities for those fights and that violence to occur.
But getting rid of free days isn’t the “answer.”