Wildlife groups warns of risks after gorilla's brief escape

Nevertheless despite claims that there had been real danger, Malcolm Fitzpatrick, curator of mammals at London Zoo, repudiated such claims, saying that the escape was a 'minor incident.

While Mr Fitzpatrick said that the zoo was looking into the details surrounding the escape he stressed, "At no time were any of our visitors in danger, the gorilla did not get out of his safe space".

Police say the gorilla escaped at around 5.10pm Thursday local time, and they confirmed his capture at 6.48pm.

It's still unclear which animal escaped, though the London Zoo's website features information on six gorillas.

The zoo in central London near Regent's Park summoned police for help Thursday evening.

One zoo-goer told the BBC that being inside the gift shop during Kumbuka's escape was "like being in Jurassic Park".

"I was kind of scared, to be honest, because we were in a really closed space where everything is green and attractive but there could be a gorilla hiding behind every bush", the 33-year-old, from Hamburg, said.

In a statement given to the Independent, the zoo said it was "managing an incident".

One zoo worker said: "He's a total psycho, that ape".

Eventually staff went from building to building to rescue visitors and evacuate them from the zoo.

She declined to confirm or deny that the animal had smashed through its glass enclosure, or that it was silverback gorilla Kumbuka who had escaped.

The silverback male called Kumbuka escaped from his enclosure in Gorilla Kingdom at 5.15pm.

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 a year ago to Effie and Kumbuka.

A gorilla named Harambe became the center of global media attention earlier this year after being killed by staff at the Cincinnati Zoo in the United States, minutes after a three-year-old boy fell into its enclosure.

Police said they were responding to an ongoing situation at the zoo. The 400-pound, 17-year-old male gorilla came into contact with a four-year-old boy when he crawled through a barrier before falling into the animal's enclosure.

Officials are yet to comment on how the animal managed to escape its enclosure.



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