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Police called after Gorilla 'escapes' from London Zoo

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 13/10/2016 Chloe Chaplain and Francesca Gillett

London Zoo visitors were left in panic this evening after a silverback gorilla "charged at its enclosure window" and escaped.

"Loose animal" sirens blared and the zoo was on lock-down, with scared visitors trapped in buildings as staff searched for the animal.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing police chasing the gorilla through the zoo before keepers sedated and recaptured it.

Jonny Briers, 22, from Tooting told The Standard: “We were at the gorilla enclosure and the gorilla charged at the glass. It didn’t break it, we saw it do it earlier in the day as well. And then we started to leave and we heard the siren go off. Then we saw zookeepers running and they told us to go inside. We went into the aquarium and they locked the doors.

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“We were in there for about half an hour to 45 minutes. We didn’t know what was happening. A zookeeper kept us calm and said it was an animal escape siren.” 

“People were let out at around quarter to six.

“The doors to the aquarium were automatic so we didn’t feel that safe, they were glass doors.

“Some people were pretty scared. We did see a woman on a bench hyperventilating as we were leaving.” 

A Metropolitan police spokesman told the Standard officers were called at 5:20pm “to support zoo staff dealing with the gorilla in question."

He confirmed at 6.48pm that the incident had been "concluded".

A spokesman for ZSL said: “All I can say is ZSL is managing an incident on site and will keep you updated when we know any more.”

It is believed the animal has been recaptured.

The zoo houses four adult gorillas and two babies.

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