A story about a zoo tranquilizing a creature that was thought to be a gorilla, but turned out to be something completely different (like a person), sounds like it might be funny. But it turns out the real story is not that funny at all. Sort of. Mostly.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, one man got hit by a car while being chased by a guy in a gorilla suit.
The original reports on this story claim that a zoo employee dressed up in gorilla suit, as part of a training drill where an ape managed to escape. So the story went that this fake gorilla was shot with a tranquilizer dart by a vet who accidentally mistook the gorilla suit for the real thing:
“As part of the simulation, which took place in the security zone of the area and was attended by authorized personnel, they set off the emergency alarm. One keeper in the wild mammals team was accidentally struck by the medical tranquilizer that vets use in these instances.”
The employee from Loro Parque Zoo in Tenerife, Spain, had an allergic reaction to the sedative intended to take down a 400 pound gorilla and was hospitalized while in serious condition.
Reports on this event used headlines like “Man Wearing Gorilla Suit Accidentally Shot With Tranquilizer” and “Gorilla-costume man shot with tranquilizer.” So, of course, there were plenty of articles featuring men in gorilla suits as part of the story.
But it turns out the part about the gorilla suit is completely false. This is what really happened:
“During the emergency drill, a call went out to the vets giving them a false warning that one of the five gorillas had managed to escape a safety pen and make his way into another area meant for the animals. When one of the vets arrived on the scene, he was told by the employee in charge of the operation that it was a fictitious emergency. It was at that moment that the vet accidentally fired the tranquilizer gun, shooting one of the keepers in the leg.”
According to Patricia Delponti, the head of communications at Loro Parque Zoo, the man is now in “perfect health” and although he was “sleeping a lot after being shot with a tranquillizer meant for a 200 kg gorilla,” he’s already back to work. So why does Delponti think reports included the bit about the gorilla suits?
“If they told the story in the way it really happened, it wouldn’t be that funny.”