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Two Teens Taunted Gorilla Who Then Escaped
S. Telegram Via Drudge ^

Posted on 03/23/2004 11:33:53 AM PST by GulliverSwift

DALLAS - A zoo visitor saw two teen-age boys throwing rocks or ice at Jabari the gorilla shortly before he escaped from his exhibit Thursday and attacked three people at the Dallas Zoo, officials said Monday.

Mammal curator Ken Kaemmerer said the man told zoo officials that he warned the teens not to taunt the gorilla and was walking away from the exhibit when he heard someone yelling that the animal had escaped.

"He just ran," Kaemmerer said. "So he didn't see where the gorilla got out."

Officials said the information, which appears credible and came from a hot line created to collect information about the incident, is helpful because it shows what might have provoked Jabari's escape.

But it also left the zoo without a solid explanation of how the 13-year-old gorilla got past walls 12 to 16 feet high with moats and electrified wires. Jabari, who injured two women and a 3-year-old boy, was fatally shot by police after he charged at them.

"I'm thinking he just got angry enough at being harassed and he either made the climb of his life or a leap and got lucky," Kaemmerer said.

In a tape of one 911 call released by authorities Monday, a zoo secretary calmly tells the operator that police are needed. In another call, Dallas resident Enrique DeLeon urgently requests help.

"There's a gorilla loose, and it's going after people," he says frantically.

"Are you serious?" the dispatcher asks.

DeLeon responds, "I'm serious. I swear to God. I am not joking. There's people yelling. It's going after people. ... There's kids in here. Please. ... Please hurry up."

In an interview Monday, DeLeon said he and his family were near the meerkat exhibit when they heard banging and screams.

DeLeon said he first saw Cheryl Reichert, 39, trying to close a door to the aviary, but the gorilla forced it open and jumped on her. Then DeLeon saw Jabari go after 3-year-old Rivers Heard and his mother, Keisha Heard, 31.

"He picked him up like a rag doll and then bit him in the head," DeLeon said. "His mother started hitting the gorilla on the back, but that just made him more mad. He threw young Rivers and then turned around and attacked her."

DeLeon said he borrowed a utility knife from a young boy and began cutting the mesh netting of the aviary. The gorilla had left the area, and he told Heard to bring her son out that way.

"She was yelling, 'Hurry up! Hurry up!' But I told her she needed to be quiet or the gorilla would come back up," he said.

After they were pulled through the netting, a zoo employee armed with a fire extinguisher led them to a nearby barn, he said. DeLeon said he began administering first aid to Keisha Heard while DeLeon's wife, Andrea, attended to Rivers.

The paramedics arrived soon afterward, and then three gunshots were heard, DeLeon said.

"My wife and I tried to be calm through it, but once everything was over, we just started crying," he said. "It was just surreal, everything we saw."

Kaemmerer said he isn't sure whether the zoo will ever be able to figure out how Jabari escaped. He continued to urge witnesses to call the zoo's hot line at (214) 671-0888 and emphasized that officials are trying to figure out what happened, not assign blame.

"I would have hoped at this point either through the media or through the hot line we would have gotten something," he said. "What I'm afraid of is the people that saw this or caused this are afraid they're going to be liable."

Kaemmerer also responded to questions about why zoo officials with tranquilizer guns could not reach Jabari before he was shot by police armed with safari-style rifles that had been provided by the zoo.

At the time of the shooting, Kaemmerer said the zoo's immobilization team had not gone in to capture the gorilla because personnel were still focusing on the first phase of their emergency operation, which is securing zoogoers and evacuating the injured.

"The vet or immobilization team will come to our command post, but he doesn't go into action until after all public and staff members are safe and the injured people are removed," Kaemmerer said.

"Once we had gotten people out, then we would have gone into the phase of contain and capture," he said.

Kaemmerer said that ideally police and zoo officials would have coordinated their plans. But he said the police were probably responding to 911 calls about a raging gorilla.

"Unfortunately, the police encountered Jabari and he charged them, and they really had no choice," Kaemmerer said.

Zoo officials are awaiting the arrival of the Department of Agriculture's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, which will conduct its own investigation of the incident, before putting some of the gorillas back on exhibit.

Kaemmerer said he hopes to reopen the north portion of the gorilla exhibit before the weekend and display two older gorillas, Jenny and Fubo. Jabari was in the south portion of the exhibit when he escaped.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: animalrights; gorilla; zoo
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Beware the sour ape.

That gorilla needs some botox. Both of them.

1 posted on 03/23/2004 11:33:54 AM PST by GulliverSwift
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To: GulliverSwift
Poor Gorilla was probably watching coverage of Dick Clarke; would drive even a simian to rage...
2 posted on 03/23/2004 11:37:34 AM PST by Texas dog
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To: GulliverSwift
I hope they track down those kids, they bear a lot of the responsibility for the damage done and the death of the animal.
3 posted on 03/23/2004 11:39:21 AM PST by GreenLanternCorps (Just once I'd like to meet an alien menace that wasn't immune to bullets!!!)
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To: GulliverSwift

Grab that minkey!


4 posted on 03/23/2004 11:39:39 AM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: GulliverSwift
These kids are jerks, but they're not the morons who built an escapable gorilla enclosure.
5 posted on 03/23/2004 11:39:53 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: GulliverSwift
I expect the UN will condemn this gorilla's unilateral action.

He should have consulted with his fellow gorillas and set up some commissions to discuss his feelings of being harassed by humans, and how he could have focused his anger into more constructive pursuits.
6 posted on 03/23/2004 11:40:36 AM PST by Gefreiter
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To: GulliverSwift
In a tape of one 911 call released by authorities Monday, a zoo secretary calmly tells the operator that police are needed. In another call, Dallas resident Enrique DeLeon urgently requests help.

"There's a gorilla loose, and it's going after people," he says frantically.

"Are you serious?" the dispatcher asks.

Ah, Dallas, my hometown. The city with the incredulous 911 operators.

And people wonder why we bailed for Tarrant County.

7 posted on 03/23/2004 11:41:27 AM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: GulliverSwift
"I'm thinking he just got angry enough at being harassed and he either made the climb of his life or a leap and got lucky," Kaemmerer said.
Find the two youths, cage them, pelt them with rocks, then shoot them dead.
8 posted on 03/23/2004 11:42:11 AM PST by Asclepius
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To: GreenLanternCorps
I hope they track down those kids, they bear a lot of the responsibility for the damage done and the death of the animal.

I agree. I hope they have some surveillance tapes showing who did it or that someone turns them in. Then they deserve a fitting punishment, like having to shovel out the elephant pen for six months while people throw things at them.

9 posted on 03/23/2004 11:42:41 AM PST by Puddleglum (Kerry is so very ... scary!!)
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To: GulliverSwift
But it also left the zoo without a solid explanation of how the 13-year-old gorilla got past walls 12 to 16 feet high with moats and electrified wires. Jabari, who injured two women and a 3-year-old boy, was fatally shot by police after he charged at them.

Surprised there aren't angry libertarians complaining about the "jackboots" and violations of the gorilla's civil rights.

10 posted on 03/23/2004 11:44:19 AM PST by Hacksaw (theocratic paleoconistic Confederate flag waving loyalty oath supporter)
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To: GulliverSwift
uhh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh cool
11 posted on 03/23/2004 11:45:38 AM PST by rageaholic
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To: B-Chan
"Somebody just shot Kennedy!"

"Yeah right."

12 posted on 03/23/2004 11:46:16 AM PST by GulliverSwift (Keep the <a href="http://www.johnkerry.com/">gigolo</a> out of the White House!)
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To: GulliverSwift
OH Please!!!!

They are giving the gorilla way too much credit.

It did what it would do if it saw someone in the wild.
13 posted on 03/23/2004 11:47:22 AM PST by It's me
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To: B-Chan
"There's a gorilla loose, and it's going after people," he says frantically. "Are you serious?" the dispatcher asks. Ah, Dallas, my hometown. The city with the incredulous 911 operators. You must admit that is somewhat of an odd call coming in.
14 posted on 03/23/2004 11:47:34 AM PST by SF Republican
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To: GulliverSwift
Can you imagine the mess in the pants of these teenagers when they saw Jabari clear the fence?
15 posted on 03/23/2004 11:50:14 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: GulliverSwift
Two Teens Taunted Gorilla Who Then Escaped

I tell ya, is this a teen movie waiting to be filmed, or what?

16 posted on 03/23/2004 11:50:21 AM PST by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it but I'd much rather dish it out.")
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To: B-Chan
"Ah, Dallas, my hometown. The city with the incredulous 911 operators. And people wonder why we bailed for Tarrant County."

The traffic alone is plenty of reason to move here, Im sure youve noticed and appreciate it.

Im surprised (but grateful) that there isnt more road rage in Dallas county with all the traffic and daily jams.

BTW, Welcome to Tarrant,where we build better gorilla cages. ;o

17 posted on 03/23/2004 11:55:26 AM PST by No Blue States
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To: GulliverSwift
Umm how come the zoo doesn't keep guns, or at least tranqulizer guns at the ready? Come on it is Texas for goodness sake.

Old school: "That's a tranquilizer gun. Any of these little f***ers decide to freak out on the kids, I get to take them down."
18 posted on 03/23/2004 11:57:59 AM PST by CJ Wolf
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To: GulliverSwift
DeLeon said he borrowed a utility knife from a young boy and began cutting the mesh netting of the aviary

Have they arrested the young boy yet?

19 posted on 03/23/2004 11:58:29 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (You can see it coming like a train on a track.)
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To: No Blue States
The traffic here in Dallas is unreal. I don't know why they can't do something about it.
20 posted on 03/23/2004 11:58:39 AM PST by Monty22
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To: Hacksaw
They should be better prepared to use tranquilizer darts and other non-lethal means of controlling escaped animals. Sounds like this innocent gorilla was killed because zoo officials were too disorganized to distribute the right equipment to the people who needed it.
21 posted on 03/23/2004 12:00:56 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: GulliverSwift
"Officials said the information, which appears credible and came from a hot line created to collect information about the incident, is helpful because it shows what might have provoked Jabari's escape."

IMO the blame can be placed completely on the zoo and those whose job it was to build secure housing for dangerous animals who are visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year.

With those numbers of visitors a few unruly teens can be guaranteed.

But yes, it would have been nice if Jabari slapped them a few times when he got out.

The cage wasnt secure, no excuse.

22 posted on 03/23/2004 12:01:48 PM PST by No Blue States
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To: Asclepius
Find the two youths, cage them, pelt them with rocks, then shoot them dead.

How about putting them in a cage with another gorilla. Quite a few serial killers apparently started out abusing animals. I'm not saying these two will end up that way, but you have to wonder about somebody who would do something like this.

23 posted on 03/23/2004 12:02:38 PM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: Monty22
I did something about it...I moved.
24 posted on 03/23/2004 12:16:33 PM PST by hadaclueonce (shoot low, they are riding Shetlands.....)
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To: GulliverSwift
Kids taunting; being cruel to any animal is something so heinous and sickneing. If anyone sees such intolerant behavior from a child or from anyone for that matter; I hope it will not be ignored or dismissed.

This surely was not a 'first time' for these teens who found such pleasure in mistreating an animal.

25 posted on 03/23/2004 12:19:08 PM PST by cricket
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To: Asclepius
"Find the two youths, cage them, pelt them with rocks, then shoot them dead."

Not to pick a fight but that sounds like a radical PETA statement.

Shoot them?!

Lets remember we were once teens who acted up. (well, at least I was)

26 posted on 03/23/2004 12:21:22 PM PST by No Blue States
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To: No Blue States
I'm East Dallas born and raised, but the city I knew in the '60s and '70s is gone — paved over, crumbling, and overrun by carpetbagging Yankees, ghetto gangbangers and illegal immigrants. The only way I'd move back there is if I had Mark Cuban-class wealth; I'd buy up every house in my old neighborhood and turn it into an armed compound. Even then they'd probably tax me out of existence or arrest me for racism or smoking or something. No thanks.

We've lived in Tarrant for almost six years and have never looked back. I miss the old town, and I still visit Kuby's and a couple of my old haunts from time to time, but other than that (or the occasional client) I don't go east of 360 unless I have no other choice.
27 posted on 03/23/2004 12:21:50 PM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: No Blue States
Lets remember we were once teens who acted up. (well, at least I was)
Did you e.g. torture or terrorize a pit bull or a rotweiler until it became so crazed it attacked a mother and a child?

A crazed gorilla constitutes deadly force.

There are degrees of acting up. When a child gets bitten in the head by a nine hundred pound animal, those responsible should pay dearly regardless of how old they are.
28 posted on 03/23/2004 12:27:23 PM PST by Asclepius
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To: dead
If the kid's were white could they be charged with a hate crime?
29 posted on 03/23/2004 12:28:44 PM PST by dallasgop
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To: GulliverSwift
My favorite gorilla pic:


30 posted on 03/23/2004 12:30:32 PM PST by EggsAckley (....."I see the idiot is here"............)
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To: Asclepius
"Find the two youths, cage them, pelt them with rocks, then shoot them dead."

Amen.

Carolyn

31 posted on 03/23/2004 12:32:58 PM PST by CDHart
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To: dead
These kids are jerks, but they're not the morons who built an escapable gorilla enclosure.

I don't understand why in this day and age we need to enclose the friendly gorilla.

32 posted on 03/23/2004 12:33:33 PM PST by 1Old Pro
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To: No Blue States
The "cage" was secure for 13 years! And that's with multiple gorillas, including young ones who are much more agile. Surely we're not going down the road of " what did they know and when did they know it".
33 posted on 03/23/2004 12:34:46 PM PST by Americanchild
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To: cricket
If the cages in Dallas are anything like Fort Worths Zoo, they would have had to throw it over the top (or through the fence holes)and its unlikely they hurt this big gorilla at all. It probably just made him mad.

I remember one at FW who had a very bad temper, if you even looked at him wrong he would get pissed, jump around, then beat on the glass till you thought he would break through and go on a king kong rampage.

Another female chimp used to enjoy eating her own feces in front of the crowds, they finally got rid of her. (she went on to be 1st lady in the 90s)

This article makes it sound like the teens were stoning this gorilla like a group of palestinians would like to do to do Sharon right now.I am not buying that at all.

I think the zoo staff and city are trying to pass blame from their cage building incompetence and lesson their risk of a law suit from the injured.

Here is an idea, build a cage dangerous animals cant escape from, and that unruly teens cant throw objects into..

34 posted on 03/23/2004 12:36:58 PM PST by No Blue States
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To: GovernmentShrinker
***They should be better prepared to use tranquilizer darts and other non-lethal means of controlling escaped animals. Sounds like this innocent gorilla was killed because zoo officials were too disorganized to distribute the right equipment to the people who needed it.***

I may be wrong. You really can't tell from a newspaper report, but I just can't buy the zoo's explanation. Taking care of getting the people out of danger and caring for the wounded first only allows the animal to do more harm.
35 posted on 03/23/2004 12:37:08 PM PST by kitkat
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To: kitkat

36 posted on 03/23/2004 12:41:04 PM PST by Bon mots
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To: Americanchild
"The "cage" was secure for 13 years!"

And it would have been secure on this day if the staff or whoever has the responsibility to protect the public were doing their job. Could it be after 13 years it needed repair?

I am going down the road of secure the dangerous animals from the visiting public, or expect your no cage building self to be looking for a new job. Or your zoo to be closed.

37 posted on 03/23/2004 12:41:39 PM PST by No Blue States
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To: Americanchild
The "cage" was secure for 13 years!

The gorilla got out, so the cage was never secure.

No gorilla happened to be sufficiently motivated until that day.

38 posted on 03/23/2004 12:43:07 PM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: GulliverSwift
Any news on the 3-year-old?
39 posted on 03/23/2004 12:44:09 PM PST by agrarianlady
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To: No Blue States
Well I suppose you can't please all the people... For years Dallas caged its apes in the old style bars and concrete and everyone screamed cruelty to animals. Soooo...they finally build a naturalistic exhibit with grass and trees--and no bars. It is a pit, but the terrain is hilly so it is possible to stand on a viewing platform and look across at an animal who appears to be on the same level. This is a style VERY common in modern zoos and used for many different kinds of animals. There are even places for the animals to hide completely out of sight. Now when you make something like this that looks nice and natural, and is pleasing to the animals and the public---it unfortunately makes it very easy to throw things in. People are routinely stopped and escorted away for such behavior, and there are signs posted. But one cannot keep an army of gaurds around a 2 acre exhibit! I agree that certain people failed in the recapture. BUT one cannot blame a design that is tried and true the world over.
40 posted on 03/23/2004 12:49:35 PM PST by Americanchild
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To: GreenLanternCorps
I don't know what anyone else thinks about this subject,
and I guess this is a bleeding heart liberal position to
take. As for myself, I could do without zoos - period.
I've gone to zoos since I was 5 or 6 yrs. old and seen
animals, though probably well taken care of, in boring
& undignified situations. I saw a pair of tigers doing
obsessive, repetitious running & rolling in tandem in a
very small concrete and steel cage. I thought they had
probably been in a circus, but found out later that it was
simply their response to a terribly unnatural and boring
life. - If kids need to see animal specimens in a cage,
then have sculptors make replicas of them and put them in
those glass cases in a museum type setting. Let the wild
things be normal and wild. - My first trip was to the
Memphis zoo, where I guess I might have barely escaped
being "captured" myself by the notorious "kid snatching"
lady who kidnapped a lot of kids my age and adopted them
out (sold them). I forget her name.
41 posted on 03/23/2004 12:52:00 PM PST by Twinkie
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To: agrarianlady
He was released from the hospital on sunday and is doing fine.
42 posted on 03/23/2004 12:52:14 PM PST by Americanchild
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To: af_vet_rr; dighton; hellinahandcart; aculeus; general_re; Tijeras_Slim; Constitution Day
How about putting them in a cage with another gorilla.


43 posted on 03/23/2004 12:54:26 PM PST by Thinkin' Gal
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To: GreenLanternCorps
I hope they track down those kids

Yeah, this is sick.

44 posted on 03/23/2004 12:55:09 PM PST by RightWhale (Theorems link concepts; proofs establish links)
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To: No Blue States
"This article makes it sound like the teens were stoning this gorilla like a group of palestinians would like to do to do Sharon right now.I am not buying that at all."

You make good points; and I am glad to hear they may be some other considerations here.

Thank you as well for some interesting background on that certain 'First Lady'. Makes her practice of politics all the more understandable!

"Another female chimp used to enjoy eating her own feces in front of the crowds, they finally got rid of her. (she went on to be 1st lady in the 90s)"

LOL! for sure.

45 posted on 03/23/2004 12:56:14 PM PST by cricket
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To: No Blue States
And it would have been secure on this day if the staff or whoever has the responsibility to protect the public were doing their job>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Excuse me? I wasn't aware my job entailed following the public around as an armed guard. The people were evacauted and/or locked in safe places in little over 5 minutes.
That's 25 acres and several hundred people. The staff WERE doing their jobs.
46 posted on 03/23/2004 12:57:50 PM PST by Americanchild
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To: dead
He probably knew of the exit route so whats to say anything else wouldnt have set him off? Like some kid eating a banana that he decided he wanted?

Another point is, when he did escape he attacked innocent people. It was not their fault. And only slightly the teens fault.

The cage should have been secure. If one cant be built that will hold them maybe they should roam free in their natural habitat for their sake and ours.

I imagine its a worse punishment to be gawked at by thousands each year than teens throwing him a few new objects to play with.

Im not sure what im doing arguing on the gorilla thread,I just live here and my kids visit the Fort worth zoo alot.

If a wild animal escaped and harmed them, I would certainly blame the zoo who has the COMPLETE responsibility to protect their customers.

I do feel sorry for the gorilla who was being picked on. But it was an escape waiting to happen imo.

47 posted on 03/23/2004 12:59:12 PM PST by No Blue States
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To: Thinkin' Gal
LOL, was thinking of that scene myself.

"Two gorillas?"

48 posted on 03/23/2004 1:03:29 PM PST by Ready4Freddy (Veni Vidi Velcro)
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To: kitkat
DeLeon said he borrowed a utility knife from a young boy and began cutting the mesh netting of the aviary.

I find that odd.

49 posted on 03/23/2004 1:03:47 PM PST by Orange1998
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To: Americanchild
If your job isnt to ensure dangerous animals cages are secure, then I wasnt meaning you.

You make some good points also, I mean no offence FRiend.

It could have been alot worse huh?

I hope the zoo will take all possible steps to protect the public. And that kids wont be bad anymore.

Like a poster above, I would rather them all be free and watch nature documentaries to get my foreign animal fix.

50 posted on 03/23/2004 1:07:08 PM PST by No Blue States
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