MNN Galleries

Hairy Houdinis: 12 animal escape artists

By: Bryan Nelson on Oct. 20, 2016, 11:26 a.m.
2 of 14

Kumbuka the silverback gorilla

Kumbuka, a silverback gorilla, escaped from his enclosure at the ZSL London Zoo on Oct. 13, sending the zoo into lockdown mode until the 400-pound gorilla was tranquilized and moved back to safety. The lockdown included armed police rushing to the scene and evacuating zoo guests, though luckily no one was harmed during the incident.

According to zoo officials, there were no broken locks, no smashed windows, and Kumbuka was never "on the loose." As the gorilla was called to dinner, the door to his den had not been properly secured and a secondary security door had not yet been locked, according to the zoo. Kumbuka made an "opportunistic" exit but never got to a public area, only to the staff-only service corridor where a zookeeper was working.

The alpha male seemed to enjoy his time exploring the zookeeper area next to his den, where he opened and drank five liters of undiluted blackcurrant squash before being safely tranquilized. Within two hours, he was back to snacking on treats and playing with his family.