Last week, a rather famous gorilla escaped from its enclosure at London Zoo and made an “opportunistic” exit through unlocked doors, in the hunt for… something in particular.
Kumbuka, who is a rather large western lowland silverback, managed to somehow get into a “secure” keepers area on discovery of the security flaw. The zoo director said the 29st “alpha male” was kept calm by a keeper before helping himself to five litres of undiluted blackcurrant squash.
“Well I would have let him help himself too.”
Kumbuka was returned to his den shortly after being tranquilised. Armed police were called to the zoo, and visitors were evacuated after the ape’s bid for freedom. However, I think he was after the juice all along! The fact that this big guy knew that there was a security flaw, and headed straight for the good stuff…tells me he had a mission to accomplish.
In his report on the breakout, Prof David Field described the events as “less dramatic than some would have you believe”.
He said: “There were no broken locks, Kumbuka did not smash any windows, he was never ‘on the loose’ and his normal gorilla posturing reported by visitors earlier in the day was unrelated.”
The gorilla found the door to his area was unlocked and a second door had yet to be secured shortly after his feeding time at 17:00 BST last Thursday.
It brought the gorilla face to face with the keeper who had shared an “incredibly close relationship” with the animal.
The member of staff talked to Kumbuka and “removed himself from the area”.
As soon as Kumbuka was alone he “briefly explored the area next door to his den, where he began to open and subsequently drink, a full five litres of undiluted blackcurrant squash.”
It concluded that the gorilla was always contained in a non-public area of the zoo after the alarm was raised, in accordance with its policy.
Hat’s off to you Kumbuka… hat’s off!
Image: Getty Images