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Authorities: Juvenile who made bomb threat to be charged

ASHEBORO —  Law enforcement officials say a juvenile was believed to have made a threat against the North Carolina Zoo this week. Investigators traced the threat, which they said was delivered electronically, to the alleged sender and filed a juvenile petition against that person.


The Zoo was evacuated late Monday morning after the bomb threat. About 1,400 people, including students from Guilford County Schools, were forced to cut their visit short. The zoo remained closed for the rest of the day.


The Guilford School system issued this statement: "Guilford County Schools is grateful for the swift action taken by law enforcement in Randolph County at the North Carolina Zoo. Students from Welborn Academy and Northwest Middle have returned safely to their respective campuses and will continue the school day as normal."


Nothing suspicious was found in a sweep of the grounds, authorities said. The zoo later said all public areas of the park had been searched twice and no suspicious items were found.


Sheriff’s deputies assigned to the park were joined by others to secure the perimeter of the property, the release said. Investigators also asked for the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office to put its bomb squad on standby.


Anyone with information about the threat can contact Randolph County Sheriff’s investigators at 336-318-6658 or call Randolph County Crime Stoppers tip line at 336-672-7463. Anonymous tips may also be submitted via the Sheriff’s Office app or the Crime Stoppers app.


Visitors who had to leave the park and want to ask about refunds or return tickets can send an inquiry to guestservices@nczoo.org. School groups needing to reschedule can email reservations@nczoo.org or speak with them at 336-879-7700 starting Tuesday.