ASHEBORO ― The N.C. Zoo will close at 2 p.m. Thursday due to a fatal workplace accident, according to a spokesperson.
WGHP FOX 8 in Greensboro, citing a spokesperson from the N.C. Department of Labor, is reporting that an employee died during a drill.
“The preliminary information we have at this time is an arborist, employed at the zoological park, engaged in an aerial rescue drill, fell 20-30 feet from a tree and died at the scene,” Mary Katherine Revels told the television station.
The emergency call came in around 8:20 a.m., WGHP reports, citing the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office.
“The entire Zoo community is deeply saddened by this loss and our thoughts and sympathies are with the family of our team member,” Zoo officials said in a statement. “The Zoo is working closely with investigators to determine details of the incident, which was not related to any of the Zoo’s animals.”
Zoo officials closed the Africa section earlier in the morning. WGHP reports that visitors leaving early will be given tickets to return another day.
The death is being investigated by the sheriff’s office and the Department of Labor, according to WGHP.