A London Zoo gorilla broke free of his enclosure on Thursday, causing patrons to be locked indoors and evacuated from the zoo. Later, the gorilla’s freedom dash was stopped when zoo employees fired tranquilizer darts and subdued the rampaging primate.
The gorilla who broke free at the London Zoo, a facility in business since 1828, may have been Kumbuka, a seven-foot tall lowland silverback they have been slowly introducing to females Effie and Mjukuu. It’s unknown why the gorilla had decided to smash the glass enclosure, although animal rights activists are probably going to speculate he simply wanted to be free.
A gorilla busted out of its London Zoo enclosure before being subdued with a tranquilizer gun https://t.co/2BKKBWiP6U
— New York Post (@nypost) October 13, 2016
Zookeeper Daniel Simmonds said that Kumbuka has been exhibiting signs that he’s happy in the enclosure, according to the New York Post.
“We’ve been slowly introducing (Kumbuka) to our three females, and Mjukuu and Effie are already quite smitten with their handsome new roommate. He is proving to have quite a playful side to him. He loves to snap the branches on the smaller trees on their island and standing in the spray of the hosepipe when we clean his dens.”
Smashing the glass might have been the gorilla’s playful side turning aggressive, though nobody really knows. Visitors who’d seen the gorilla reported that he looked “really angry,” so it might not have been Kumbuka, but one of the other male gorillas at Gorilla Kingdom.
Smell that? It’s the beginnings of a meme. https://t.co/vnDpP27Ocz
— Sammy Paul (@ICOEPR) October 13, 2016
It could be the gorilla simply wanting to roam free, meaning this might not be the last time he would do it. Activists might even start picketing the London Zoo until the gorilla is released into his natural habitat. According to BBC News, visitor Brad Evans’ daughter and son-in-law did not want the gorilla to be shot.
Evans told the press what happened when the London Zoo gorilla escaped.
“We were in the zoo for the day, having a cup of coffee in the main restaurant area when they locked us all in and said there was an incident. They gave us free teas and coffees and obviously we were asking what was going on and they told us that a gorilla had got out of its enclosure and that we weren’t allowed out of the park at half-five so we had to wait.”
A protest similar to what might happen in London has nearly ruined business for SeaWorld, a resort known for its aquatic life being contained in tanks. Blackfish, a documentary about dolphins, killer whales, and other sea life being mistreated and even killing their caretakers has launched an eruption of bad business. SeaWorld has since decided to focus on aquatic life education instead of the infamous shows in which sea mammals jump through hoops and perform tricks for an audience.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 13, 2016
The London Zoo gorilla had escaped his enclosure after 5:00 p.m. London time, and eyewitnesses Hannah O’Donoghue-Hobbs and Charlotte Neild claimed that the escape felt like they were in Jurassic Park. If you haven’t seen them, the Jurassic Park movies are about dinosaurs being brought back to life. By the end, the terrible lizards had broken free, and the owners had no choice but to flee for their lives.
No one was harmed in the process of the London Zoo gorilla’s escape, or in his capture, though the incident could easily spark protests. Activists might say that the gorilla had wanted to be free and begin picketing for his release into the wild.
[Featured Image by MG photos/ Shutterstock]