Man with toy gun causes panic at Amersfoort zoo

Dutch police officers responding to a report of a crime
Dutch police officers responding to a report of a crimePhoto: Politie

There was some panic at DierenPark Amersfoort on Wednesday afternoon when several visitors reported a man acting suspiciously, possibly with a firearm in he zoo. Multiple police units responded and access to the zoo was closed to prevent the person leaving the premises. It turned out to be a father and son with a toy gun, police spokesperson Bernhard Jens said to newspaper AD.

"We checked the park and heard from several witnesses that it involved a father and child with a toy pistol", Jens said to the newspaper, calling the incident a storm in a teacup. "One person sees something and in no time the toy pistol turns into an AK-47. I exaggerate, but that's what happened."

Another police spokesperson gave a similar statement. "There was a bit of panic. It's true that several people noticed the man, then the fire spread quickly. So people quickly talked about an armed person. Luckily this was not the case."

The police, with arrest team and helicopter, returned to the station without arresting anyone.

The zoo posted a message on Facebook telling visitors not to worry. "In response to a person who showed suspicious behavior, we decided to call in the police. There is no danger to visitors."