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London Zoo escaped gorilla ‘drank five litres of undiluted squash’ during escape

The Independent logo The Independent 19/10/2016 Alexandra Sims
London Zoo's gorilla escapee Kumbuka © Independent Print Limited London Zoo's gorilla escapee Kumbuka

A gorilla that sparked an emergency after breaking out of its enclosure at London Zoo opened and drank five litres of undiluted blackcurrant squash during his escape, the Zoological Society of London has revealed.

Members of the public and staff at the zoo were locked into buildings and ordered not to leave certain areas after Kumbuka, an adult silverback gorilla, made his escape on Thursday.

Now an investigation by the zoo has revealed what Kumbuka did in his short time of freedom, including exploring the zookeepers' area and drinking a large quantity of squash.

"As the first part of our investigation concludes, I’m keen to use this opportunity to clarify some things," a statement from the zoo said.

"Kumbuka was called into his private night quarters for his dinner at around 5.10pm on Thursday 13th October. As a big silverback male with a matching appetite, he eats separately from the females - otherwise they wouldn't’t get a look in.

"Unfortunately the door to his den had not been properly secured and a secondary security door had not yet been locked.

"We’ve since established that Kumbuka made an opportunistic escape from his unlocked den into the staff-only service corridor where a zookeeper was working.

"Staff raised the alarm that triggered our standard escape response, while Kumbuka briefly explored the zookeeper area next door to his den, where he opened and drank five litres of undiluted blackcurrant squash."


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