London Zoo Gorilla Recaptured After Escaping Enclosure, Prompting Lockdown

Visitors were kept indoors during the incident.
Philip Toscano/PA Archive

A gorilla that escaped its enclosure at London Zoo has been recaptured.

The zoo said it was “managing an incident” after the animal escaped and visitors were apparently locked indoors during the incident.

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed the incident has concluded. The gorilla was tranquillised by zoo staff, The Press Association said.

BuzzFeed News quoted a source who said the gorilla only escaped to the outer part of its enclosure and did not immediately threaten the public.

Photos posted to social media appeared to show police on the grounds.

Speaking before the gorilla’s recapture, the Metropolitan Police said: “Police were called by security at Regent’s Park at 5.17pm to reports of an ongoing incident. Officers are there to support ZSL staff.”

One Tweeter posted a video, claiming they were in a “lock in” at the zoo due to the gorilla being on the loose.

One person tweeted an image of one the gorillas, saying it threw itself at the window just two seconds later.

Another person described hearing “helicopters and sirens all around”.

Brad Evans, a visitor who was allowed to leave the zoo, told the BBC London: “We were in the zoo for the day, having a cup of coffee in the main restaurant area when they locked us all in and said there was an incident.

“They gave us free teas and coffees and obviously we were asking what was going on and they told us that a gorilla had got out of its enclosure and that we weren’t allowed out of the park at half [past] five so we had to wait.

“As we were waiting, we saw the police turning up in numbers with loads of guns.”

According to the zoo’s website there are at least seven gorillas in the Gorilla Kingdom enclosure.

They include Kumbuka, a western lowland silverback, who arrived at the zoo in early 2013 from Paignton Zoo in Devon.

Others include Zaire, who came to London Zoo in 1984 after being born in Jersey Zoo, Mjukuu and her daughter Alika, “teenager” Effie, and Gernot, the latest addition who was born in November last year to Effie and Kumbuka.

<strong>Kumbuka, a male western lowland gorilla, at London Zoo</strong>
Kumbuka, a male western lowland gorilla, at London Zoo
Steve Parsons/PA Archive

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