"...the electrified wire at the top of the exhibit wall where the Gorilla tried to climb
was intact and was working when she made her climb. If she had gone any higher she would have made contact with this wire." [from NC Zoo General Curator Ken Reininger
's report to staff today]
"The incident took place around 2:15...Sunday. No staff was present at the Gorilla exhibit at the time so we were alerted to a possible problem via a 911 call a visitor had placed. ZooCom received that call at 2:15 pm and alerted Gorilla keepers and other staff. The Gorilla keepers were close by and immediately began calling the Gorillas into their night quarters. All three Gorillas were reported secured at 2:22 pm so this took only 7 minutes to accomplish (great work Gorilla keepers!).
In a YouTube video, he continues, "you can see our youngest (and smallest at 170 lbs) female Gorilla with a branch which she propped up against the exhibit wall and used to climb. She made it far enough to get her finger tips over the top of the wall but then came back down to the ground. When she tried this a second time the branch broke and that was that. It is our presumption that the tree branch was loosened by the storm the night before but fell into the exhibit during the day. We know the keepers searched the exhibit that morning (as all keepers do in every exhibit every morning) and found no security issues including large branches on the ground. We also know that the electrified wire at the top of the exhibit wall where the Gorilla tried to climb was intact and was working when she made her climb. If she had gone any higher she would have made contact with this wire.
"On Monday we kept the Gorilla exhibit closed to do a thorough inspection. Most of what was done had been scheduled months ago to happen on Tuesday but we moved it up one day. On Monday our Arbor crew climbed the major trees in the exhibit and removed any limbs that were even remotely considered at risk of falling. Arbor makes these inspections in the Gorilla and other exhibits every month and has for years. We also had Design staff inspect our electrified wire system and although intact and working normally, we reinforced this system."
"All Duty Officers were just recently trained on the Escaped Animal Recapture Response Plan and other emergency response plans on June 3rd."
Labels: acacia, gorilla, Ken Reininger, NC Zoo, western lowland gorilla