The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Visitor Access and Secure Fencing Project proposal includes the installation of additional fencing, scheduled to begin in 2019. The proposal is currently before the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) for approval.

According to a statement from the National Zoo, the addition of permanent perimeter fencing will reduce the existing 13 entrances in stages, to improve the zoo’s overall security and visitor experience. “Limiting the number of ways people enter the Zoo will enhance security and safety year-round. During high-visitation periods or when there has been an increased threat level, the Zoo will continue to implement temporary security screening—as it has at these same entrances for the past four years,” the statement says.

In 2019, the zoo will reduce the 13 public entrances to three main entrances and three temporary consolidated entrances at parking lots.

“The safety and security of the visitors, staff and animals are the No. 1 priority at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. There will be no changes to the Zoo’s current screening procedures and the Zoo has no plans to implement permanent, full-time screening,” the statement adds.