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Washington’s National Zoo Cutting Hours Because of Runners and Walkers

According to zoo officials, safety and security are big concerns.

The Washington Post has an interesting piece about the National Zoo—one of the most popular zoos in the U.S.—which is cutting hours in 2016.

The reason? Safety. According to the Post, the zoo has a 2.5-mile trail that is popular with runners and walkers, and those people “tend to collide with the many vehicles that bustle around the zoo ferrying food, keepers and veterinarians to the animals, especially when it’s not quite light out in the early hours of the morning.”

As a result, the zoo will now open at 8 a.m. instead of 6 a.m., which will undoubtedly force morning runners and walkers to find somewhere else to go before work. The zoo will also close one hour earlier at night. Some indoor exhibits at the zoo will open earlier as a trade-off.

RELATED: 5 Places to Run In…Washington D.C.

“We’ve had for some time, going back years, increasing concern about safety and security,” zoo director Dennis Kelly told the Post. “We’ve observed many near misses for walkers and joggers, particularly in the dark. We’ve had joggers with headphones bumping into parked vehicles.”

He added, “I’m just not going to wait and have a tragedy here.”

MORE: Washington Post