Fireworks go on sale tomorrow for Guy Fawkes but not everyone is welcoming the annual event, with Wellington Zoo pleading with locals to not take part after the death of a nyala antelope last year.
Last Guy Fawkes, the natural flight response of one of the herd kicked in, with tragic consequences.
“One of our zoo keepers found Skipper dead in in his habitat and obviously that was very distressing for her,” Wellington Zoo chief executive Karen Fifield said.
Investigations reveal he suffered high levels of stress. It's believed it was spooked by fireworks and ran into a wall.
“It was not a pleasant thing and we certainly don’t want to see that repeated,” Fifield said.
That's why she's pleading for households in a two kilometre proximity to not let off fireworks next week.
“We don't want to be the fun police but we certainly want to make sure that the animals are okay, that the animals are protected,” Fifield said.
Staff are preparing comfortable spaces where the animals can take shelter, sedatives are being considered and this year, security guards will patrol the area of the zoo adjacent to a park, where people have illegally let off fireworks.
Earlier this year a parliamentary select committee recommended no changes to fireworks regulations.
Wellington City Council is hoping its new call to get the authority to ban fireworks near zoos will be more successful.
“This is trying to be proactive and make sure that we put animal welfare over the entertainment of people,” Wellington city councillor Fleur Fitzsimons said.
Locals near the zoo are being urged to call the council if they do hear fireworks, in the hope the animals will be undisturbed this year.