Originally created 09/30/03

Gorilla escapes from zoo, injuring toddler and 18-year-old



BOSTON -- A restless gorilla broke out of its zoo enclosure Sunday injuring a 2-year-old and a teenager before it was sedated and recaptured almost two hours later, according to zoo officials.

The gorilla escaped from the Franklin Park Zoo minutes before the zoo was scheduled to close, according to Zoo New England CEO and President John Linehan.

The gorilla injured the young girl and an 18-year-old woman almost immediately after escaping, Linehan said. A witness told police she later saw the gorilla sitting at a bus stop on a street near the zoo.

"We've had a very difficult evening, and we feel very badly about the adult and young child injured. We don't know the extent of their injuries, but we think they'll be OK," he said.

The 5-foot, 300-pound adolescent gorilla escaped from its section of the Tropical Forest exhibit in August, but did not leave the exhibit grounds.

Zoo officials installed electrified wires to keep the 11-year-old primate from escaping again, but on Sunday he managed to leave the zoo grounds entirely.

"Needless to say, until further notice, he is not going to be on exhibit," Linehan said.