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Safety concerns lead to closure of Edmonton zoo’s new Red Panda Playground

The Edmonton Valley Zoo's Red Panda Playground will be closed until the fall, as work is done to address a few safety concerns that arose. 
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The Edmonton Valley Zoo's Red Panda Playground will be closed until the fall, as work is done to address a few safety concerns that arose. . Global News

A new attraction that opened earlier this year at the Edmonton Valley Zoo has been temporarily closed due to safety concerns.

Construction on the Red Panda Playground finished at the end of May, at which point the zoo “identified a few safety concerns that needed to be addressed.”

“This improvement work will update the playground to meet current safety standards, which have changed since the project was tendered for construction,” said Claire Graff, a spokesperson with the City of Edmonton.

READ MORE: Construction nearly done; visitors enjoying 2 new areas at Edmonton Valley Zoo

A final safety inspection after construction was finished outlined three needed improvements:

  • A 1.5-metre clearance around the play structure with rubber surface
  • Install a more firm anchor system of the structure to the ground
  • Address a couple of potential “pinch points” for people’s fingers
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Work that’s being done includes installing more soft surface around the play structure, as well as adding “rigid anchoring” of the structure to the ground for more stability.

“To ensure everyone’s safety, the playground was closed,” read a statement from the Edmonton Valley Zoo, which is owned by the city.

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The playground will remain closed until the repairs are complete this fall, according to the zoo.

The Edmonton Valley Zoo's Red Panda Playground will be closed until the fall, as work is done to address a few safety concerns that arose.
The Edmonton Valley Zoo's Red Panda Playground will be closed until the fall, as work is done to address a few safety concerns that arose. Global News
The Edmonton Valley Zoo's Red Panda Playground will be closed until the fall, as work is done to address a few safety concerns that arose.
The Edmonton Valley Zoo's Red Panda Playground will be closed until the fall, as work is done to address a few safety concerns that arose. Global News
The Edmonton Valley Zoo's Red Panda Playground will be closed until the fall, as work is done to address a few safety concerns that arose.
The Edmonton Valley Zoo's Red Panda Playground will be closed until the fall, as work is done to address a few safety concerns that arose. Global News

The playground is located near the new facilities that were construction for the zoo’s three red pandas.

The new habitat for the animals features two large outdoor enclosures with wooden structures and three large trees, as well as a roomy indoor area.

The kids’ playground sits prominently in the middle of the newly opened area. It’s meant for kids to climb and move like the red pandas would.

The new facility formally opened to the public on June 21.

The city said the cost for the work will come out of the project’s budget.

Watch below: A new section of the Edmonton Valley Zoo is now welcoming visitors. Margeaux Maron has more on the new red panda enclosure and the successful conservation program that helped drive the upgrade. (June 2019). 

Edmonton Valley Zoo expansion includes red panda space
Edmonton Valley Zoo expansion includes red panda space