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Gorilla Shot After Escaping at Dallas Zoo, Where It Bit, Scratched Three People
AP ^ | 3-18-04

Posted on 03/18/2004 8:28:49 PM PST by Indy Pendance

DALLAS (AP) - Police shot and killed a gorilla that escaped from its enclosure at the Dallas Zoo on Thursday and injured three people.

One adult and two children, ages 10 and 2, suffered minor injuries from the gorilla and were taken to area hospitals, Deputy Police Chief Daniel Garcia said. He said the three were bitten and scratched.

The zoo was evacuated after the animal escaped and police were notified. When the gorilla charged two officers, getting within 15 feet of them, they opened fire, Garcia said.

"We were forced to put this animal down," he said.

Garcia said police officers' objective was protecting citizens until authorities could figure out what to do with the gorilla.

Diana Gonzalez, a zoo patron, said she saw the animal banging on the door of its enclosure, and then it broke. The gorilla then scampered out of the gorilla pit.

Dallas zoo director Rich Buickerood said the primate was an inquisitive 13-year-old Western Lowland gorilla. He said the animal was likely "extremely excited and extremely fearful while it was out."

He said zoo officials are trying to figure out how the escape happened.

Last year, a 300-pound gorilla escaped twice in two months from Boston's Franklin Park Zoo.

In the second escape, he strolled around the zoo and the surrounding streets for about two hours and attacked a 2-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman. Both suffered minor injuries. The animal was sedated with tranquilizer darts.

The zoo reopened its gorilla exhibit last month without the escapee, named Little Joe, who now spends his time in a holding area away from the public.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: escape; gorilla; zoo
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1 posted on 03/18/2004 8:28:50 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: Indy Pendance

2 posted on 03/18/2004 8:30:59 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: Indy Pendance
They KILLED it? They should have tried negotiations first. Banana sanctions at least! Man!
3 posted on 03/18/2004 8:31:45 PM PST by formercalifornian (Daschle who?)
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To: formercalifornian
Was it a Palestinian gorilla?;)
4 posted on 03/18/2004 8:36:06 PM PST by Frank_2001
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To: formercalifornian
Boy the French are going to be mad when they hear this! LOL
5 posted on 03/18/2004 8:36:50 PM PST by Tabi Katz
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To: Indy Pendance; martin_fierro; mikrofon
The inquisitive quick gorilla?
6 posted on 03/18/2004 8:39:53 PM PST by Charles Henrickson (The conservative click guerilla.)
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To: Indy Pendance
I wonder if the cops who gunned it down consulted the UN first.
7 posted on 03/18/2004 8:41:01 PM PST by krb (the statement on the other side of this tagline is false)
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To: formercalifornian
They KILLED it? They should have tried negotiations first.

Dallas cops... I wonder if they found a bag of cocaine... er... ground up sheetrock... er... whatever... on the great ape after they offed it.

Oops. Wrong story. All jokes aside, I approve of the actions of the officers in this case. I just want to see the shooting report and find out how many rounds were fired and how many hits were scored.

/john

8 posted on 03/18/2004 8:41:41 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Soy el jefe de la cocina. No discuta con mí.)
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To: Indy Pendance
Never call the police unless you are willing to have them kill your problem. Sounds like the keepers were not doing their job. First, build the enclosure so the animals can't get out. Second, have a plan to evacuate the zoo and tranquilize any animals that escape anyway.
9 posted on 03/18/2004 8:43:40 PM PST by TheDon (John Kerry, self proclaimed war criminal, Democratic Presidential nominee)
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To: Indy Pendance
Joh Kerry thinks the threat presented by escaped gorillas has been exaggerated.
10 posted on 03/18/2004 8:50:51 PM PST by CheezyD
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To: Indy Pendance
Whatever happened to zoo employees with tranquilizer darts?
11 posted on 03/18/2004 8:52:01 PM PST by squidly (I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosity he excites among his opponents)
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To: TheDon
Three....have Bi-Planes with machine guns at ready.
12 posted on 03/18/2004 8:52:18 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: krb
"I wonder if the cops who gunned it down consulted the UN first."

Thank God they didn't. The UN would wait untill three thousand innocents were murdered and then call for sanctions. And after those sanctions didn't work they would ask for more time to study them while the gorilla was still at large.

13 posted on 03/18/2004 8:52:48 PM PST by blackbart.223
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To: Indy Pendance
Taste like chicken. So I've heard.
14 posted on 03/18/2004 8:55:13 PM PST by Spruce
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To: Indy Pendance
Had this happened at the Cincinnati Zoo, the two officers would be filling out forms for two months, then appearing in front of a citizen's review panel, then would probably have a suspension and reprimands placed in their files. Hell, they might be fired or put on trial!
15 posted on 03/18/2004 8:57:10 PM PST by Chu Gary (USN Intel guy 1967 - 1970)
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To: Spruce
"Taste like chicken. So I've heard."

I'll have to take your word on that.

16 posted on 03/18/2004 8:58:44 PM PST by blackbart.223
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To: Indy Pendance
Police shot and killed a gorilla

Twas beauty killed the beast!


17 posted on 03/18/2004 9:00:00 PM PST by lowbridge (I can think of a punishment worse than death for Saddam, but Hillary is already married.)
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To: Indy Pendance
If they'd just waited a little longer, the Cowboys would have signed it as a defensive tackle.
18 posted on 03/18/2004 9:00:15 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (Am Yisrael Chai!)
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To: blackbart.223
I'll have to take your word on that.

He's lying.

Actually it tastes like soylent green.

19 posted on 03/18/2004 9:01:22 PM PST by lowbridge (I can think of a punishment worse than death for Saddam, but Hillary is already married.)
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To: lowbridge
"Actually it tastes like soylent green."

Then I'll have to take a pass on it.

20 posted on 03/18/2004 9:06:34 PM PST by blackbart.223
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To: lowbridge
Tread lightly when you call people liars, friend.
21 posted on 03/18/2004 9:08:31 PM PST by Spruce
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To: blackbart.223
There was a thread recently with a moose in a lake people were swimming in. If I remember correctly, the authorities shot it because they didn't want it to drown.
22 posted on 03/18/2004 9:12:43 PM PST by Tymesup
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To: Tymesup
"There was a thread recently with a moose in a lake people were swimming in. If I remember correctly, the authorities shot it because they didn't want it to drown."

That makes perfect sense to me.

I hope they didn't waste the meat.

23 posted on 03/18/2004 9:17:24 PM PST by blackbart.223
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To: squidly
This was after hours when most keepers had gone home. There was only one vet available with the tranquilizers--but we still don't know why he was taking his own sweet time getting to the scene. ( Hell--the vet hospital was just across the access road!)The officers were threatened by the gorilla because they surrounded it. ( And because the macho Dallas cops were itching to shoot it from the moment they arrived)

This was very poorly handled IMO
24 posted on 03/18/2004 9:25:42 PM PST by Americanchild
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To: Spruce
I'm sorry. :-) What I meant to say was he's sorely mistaken. His taste buds died out years ago.
25 posted on 03/18/2004 9:31:48 PM PST by lowbridge
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To: lowbridge
:( :( :( :( :(
26 posted on 03/18/2004 9:34:05 PM PST by oolatec
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To: TheDon
This is a code red (i.e. dangerous animal) and the cops are always called. Their purpose is to shoot the animal IF it escapes the zoo grounds. The zoo has it's own trained weapons team, as well as vet staff with tranquilizers. However, since this occurred late after most keepers had gone home, staff was pretty thin. The one vet still there has some explaining to do for not showing up with the darts. The head curator has some explaining to do for failing to make critical decisions.

This animal among others has lived in this exhibit for nearly twenty years with no escapes. It is still unclear how he got out. ( teens were teasing him just prior to the incident)The zoo was evacuated immediately, but several people, including the injured were forced to take refuge in animal barns near the escape area. BTW the above story is incorrect; it was 2 adults and one child injured. The little boy is critical.
27 posted on 03/18/2004 9:34:31 PM PST by Americanchild
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To: eddie willers
LOL! Forgot that one!
28 posted on 03/18/2004 10:07:15 PM PST by TheDon (John Kerry, self proclaimed war criminal, Democratic Presidential nominee)
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To: TheDon
Totally agree. Cops only know two ways to deal with these situations... run and hide (Columbine), or come in guns blazing and shoot anything that moves dead.

The zoo keepers should have had a tranquilizer gun on hand.
29 posted on 03/18/2004 11:22:31 PM PST by ambrose ("I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it" - John F. al-Query)
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To: Americanchild
( teens were teasing him just prior to the incident

where did you hear that?

30 posted on 03/18/2004 11:24:01 PM PST by ambrose ("I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it" - John F. al-Query)
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To: Indy Pendance
Another needless police shooting. They should have taken him down, handcuffed him, arrested him and read him his rights.
31 posted on 03/18/2004 11:30:06 PM PST by Jeff Gordon (LWS - Legislating While Stupid. Someone should make this illegal.)
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To: Indy Pendance; autoresponder; PhilDragoo; Liz; onyx; nicmarlo; Happy2BMe; potlatch; devolve; ...
A man told his friend that he had an 800 pound gorilla for a pet and that he kept it in his home.

His friend exclaimed: In your HOUSE ? Where does an 800 pound gorilla sleep ?

The man replies: Anywhere he wants to.


32 posted on 03/19/2004 3:13:17 AM PST by MeekOneGOP (The Democrats say they believe in CHOICE. I have chosen to vote STRAIGHT TICKET GOP for years !!)
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To: ambrose
I work there. People are always teasing them, throwing rocks and things. Jabari learned quite early to throw them right back. I guess he had had enough of it.
33 posted on 03/19/2004 4:39:14 AM PST by Americanchild
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To: Indy Pendance
Gorilla, you're a desperado.
34 posted on 03/19/2004 4:41:23 AM PST by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Count Petofi will not be denied!)
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To: Indy Pendance
Reminds me of a visit to a California zoo. They had an orangutan, male, about 350lbs. The creature had no neck, just muscles.

He looked me in the eye and I just knew that he resented being locked up and if he ever got out he was going to make some humans pay for it.

35 posted on 03/19/2004 5:02:19 AM PST by LibKill (Ketchup-Boy is more French than the French!)
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To: GodBlessRonaldReagan
Good Song!
Gorilla, You're a Desperado
written by Warren Zevon

Big gorilla at the L.A. Zoo
Snatched the glasses right off my face
Took the keys to my BMW
Left me here to take his place

I wish the ape a lot of success
I'm sorry my apartment's a mess
Most of all I'm sorry if I made you blue
I'm betting the gorilla will, too

They say Jesus will find you wherever you go
But when He'll come looking for you, they don't know
In the mean time, keep your profile low
Gorilla, you're a desperado

He built a house on an acre of land
He called it Villa Gorilla
Now I hear he's getting divorced
Laying low at L'Ermitage, of course

Then the ape grew very depressed
Went through Transactional Analysis
He plays racquetball and runs in the rain
Still he's shackled to a platinum chain

Big gorilla at the L.A. Zoo
Snatched the glasses right off my face
Took the keys to my BMW
Left me here to take his place
36 posted on 03/19/2004 7:22:21 AM PST by eddie willers
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To: eddie willers
I haven't seen the PETA response yet, but I am sure it's coming.
37 posted on 03/19/2004 7:47:33 AM PST by halran
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To: LibKill
"He looked me in the eye and I just knew that he resented being locked up and if he ever got out he was going to make some humans pay for it."

I've seen that look too, kind of eerie.

38 posted on 03/19/2004 8:06:00 AM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: lowbridge

39 posted on 03/19/2004 8:07:56 AM PST by Xenalyte ("Marsa Stert is a britch and and I sit on the exhange")
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To: eddie willers
Rest in peace, Mr. Zevon. Thanks for the great music.
40 posted on 03/19/2004 8:15:03 AM PST by Our man in washington
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To: LibKill
I saw one of the most interesting interactions between humans and gorillas at the Washington Zoo. Part of the enclosure there is a glassed in room, where the gorillas spend a lot of time and people stand just on the other side of the glass watching.

When I was there, there were several adults, juveniles, and one baby in the enclosure. One of the juveniles was pestering the baby, constantly trying to get the baby to jump on his back to carry it around, pulling on the baby, trying to get the baby to play. You could tell that the baby wanted no part of it, but the juvenile would not let up. Finally, mama gorilla went to go rescue the baby from the pest, and she swooped it up .... and brought it over at set the baby right up against the glass where there where three toddlers (2 - 3 years old) on the other side of the glass. These kids went nuts, trying to give "hugs" to the baby through the glass.

It was as if momma gorilla was saying to the juvenile "I'll show you to be a pest! Since you won't stop, I'll let the baby play with the human children!"

But by far the most amazing experience I've ever had with primates is at the Singapore Zoo, when I fed a baby orangutan by hand that was on its mother's lap, while I was sitting next to them on a bench.
41 posted on 03/19/2004 8:26:38 AM PST by RedWhiteBlue
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To: Indy Pendance; MeekOneGOP
Man, this is terrible news. How horrible. Those poor kids will be traumatized for life and never want to go to the zoo again. I feel sorry for the Dallas Zoo. This will be bad business. We always enjoyed the Ft. Worth Zoo more.
42 posted on 03/19/2004 10:01:51 AM PST by SpookBrat
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To: Americanchild
That's terrible. People are so rude and disrespectful. At our zoo here in Jacksonville, there are signs every where that read, Don't throw food to the apes because we can transfer disease, etc.....people still throw food and ice.

Hope business will be ok and you won't lose your job.

43 posted on 03/19/2004 10:03:57 AM PST by SpookBrat
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To: Americanchild
I work there. People are always teasing them, throwing rocks and things. Jabari learned quite early to throw them right back. I guess he had had enough of it.

That is despicable. The Zoo shouldn't allow people to torment its animals like that.

There's a nice little Zoo out in So California.. the Santa Barbara Zoo. Their gorilla exhibit is enclosed with strong plexiglass, viewable only from a downstairs room - so people can respectfully view the beasts without disturbing them. There is also plenty of private areas for the gorillas to retire to when they tire of being viewed by the zoo patrons.

44 posted on 03/19/2004 10:47:38 AM PST by ambrose ("I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it" - John F. al-Query)
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To: Americanchild
A relative told me last night that the helicopters were swarming around the grounds keeping the ape wound up after the escape.
45 posted on 03/19/2004 11:01:51 AM PST by GOPyouth (De Oppresso Liber! The Tyrant is captured!)
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To: SpookBrat
Pretty scary for the kids alright, I'm sure.

I was just running an errand and KRLD 1080 AM radio said they talked to a woman worker at the Zoo and that she had worked there for a long time. She said that there had been a monkey and a snake got loose in the past. This is the first gorilla to get loose, though. It was a faulty door on the gorilla unit that allowed it to get out ...


46 posted on 03/19/2004 11:31:02 AM PST by MeekOneGOP (The Democrats say they believe in CHOICE. I have chosen to vote STRAIGHT TICKET GOP for years !!)
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To: Indy Pendance
Hope they had something with a little more oomph than 9 mm pistols.
47 posted on 03/19/2004 11:32:53 AM PST by RightWhale (Theorems link concepts; proofs establish links)
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To: LibKill
He looked me in the eye

At the Pittsburgh zoo the gorilla suddenly charged the bars on his cage while thumping his chest. Everyone jumped back, and the gorilla went back to sit down, his lip curled in a smile.

48 posted on 03/19/2004 11:38:17 AM PST by RightWhale (Theorems link concepts; proofs establish links)
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To: GOPyouth
A relative told me last night that the helicopters were swarming around the grounds keeping the ape wound up after the escape. >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Absolutely! And we were mobbed with helicopters all day today! They wouldn't leave when asked to, even though many of the animals were in terror. Good way to insure another escape, huh?!


49 posted on 03/19/2004 4:47:29 PM PST by Americanchild
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To: MeekOneGOP
I'm not sure who they talked to, but at this time we still don't know how he got out. The exhibit is a deep pit with vertical rock sides and a high voltage wire at the top. The only door is INTO his night house, so going through that would not have let him into the public area.
50 posted on 03/19/2004 4:50:32 PM PST by Americanchild
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