Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Koga's escaped! Rampaging 400lb gorilla breaks out of his cage at New York zoo and bites zookeeper before being tranquilized by SWAT team

A 400-pound adult male gorilla escaped his cage a New York zoo today, biting a female zookeeper before being tranquilised and captured in what a SWAT team leader called, 'the scariest thing I've ever done'.

Zoo officials said Koga, a 24-year-old silverback gorilla at Buffalo Zoo, Buffalo, took advantage of an unlocked door in his living quarters on Monday morning and slipped into the space behind it, which is used by zoo personnel but closed to the public.

A keeper who has cared for Koga since he arrived in 2007 was bitten on her hand and calf, in what officials said was an act of excitement rather than aggression.

'He was probably just as surprised coming face to face with her as she was with him,' Buffalo Zoo President Donna Fernandes said.

The keeper, whose name was not released, took refuge inside the habitat of a female gorilla and her newborn baby, Fernandes said. The keeper had a good relationship with the mother who, like Koga, is a West Lowland gorilla, native to West Africa and the Congo River Basin. Read More