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Last Updated: Friday, 23 March 2007, 17:55 GMT
Zoo animals 'may jump into park'
A tiger could leap over the perimeter fence, the report says
Dangerous animals at London Zoo could jump the facility's perimeter fence into Regent's Park unless security is improved, a report has warned.

Tigers and lions kept at the zoo could leap over the 6ft-high perimeter fence if they escaped from their enclosures, a Defra vet's report said.

The report said the fencing should be improved within six months.

The Zoological Society said there was no question the animals were not being held securely.

'Strict security'

The report follows vet inspections of the zoo in January, which did not criticise the enclosures in which the animals are held.

"It is a concern, however, that should there be a dangerous animal escape it is unlikely that the existing perimeter fence will contain dangerous animals, like a tiger for example, for a reasonable period of time allowing the capture team to do their work," the report said.

A London Zoo spokeswoman said: "All animal enclosures undergo vigorous testing to ensure they are safe and secure before an animal is introduced.

"There are also strict security measures which zoo keepers undertake everyday with regard to animal safety.

"The perimeter fence was recommended as an issue for consideration, and the report suggests ZSL London Zoo contact The Royal Parks, on whose land the zoo is situated, to discuss this matter. It is our intention to do this."

The report also recommended having two handlers for venomous snakes at all times and the installation of a glass panel in the snake-handling room so staff can check the room before entering.

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