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The festivities of Easter Monday at D.C.’s National Zoo were marred in the past decade with violence. In 2011, a stabbing involving a 14-year-old boy dampened the mood and safety of zoo-goers. In 2000, a violent incident of gun violence interrupted festivities when a teenager shot and wounded seven children at the entrance of the park. Despite the incidents, African American families continued the tradition year after year.

Interestingly, but perhaps not for the same reasons, the zoo in Asheboro, NC had to close its gates on Easter Monday when the crowd reached over capacity. It was the second time in history the park closed its doors temporarily to visitors. The NC park received over 12,775 guests by 4 p.m. that afternoon.

(Photo: The Smithsonian National Zoo)

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