A gorilla named Kumbuka escaped from his enclosure at the London Zoo Thursday afternoon. Visitors were quickly instructed to hide inside the gift shop and other zoo buildings while Kumbuka was corralled and subdued. After about an hour, he was shot with a tranquilizer dart and returned to his den. Crisis averted.
Officials later said that Kumbuka had escaped into a secure keepers-only area and that he never entered public space. Visitors were told to hunker down because the zoo “thought it was the best process.”
Certainly, it was the best process to scare the hell out of everyone. One zoo-goer told the BBC that being inside the gift shop during Kumbuka’s escape was “like being in Jurassic Park.”
In a statement, the London Zoo said that Kumbuka is back in his den where he is “awake and well,” proving that there are solutions to tense gorilla standoffs that do not involve putting a bullet in the animal’s brain. Kudos to the London Zoo for keeping Kumbuka alive and, as almost as important, depriving the Harambe-meme-makers of more material.