Gorilla escapes barrier into hog exhibit at Houston Zoo, officials say

HOUSTON – A Houston Zoo gorilla escaped Saturday into a hog exhibit area, zoo officials said.

The incident was reported around 1 p.m.

Zoo officials said a 28-year-old adult female western lowland gorilla crossed into the Red River hogs area.

The gorillas share a habitat with the hogs, but they are separated by a barrier. Officials have not said how the gorilla got out.

The gorilla was never in a public area, but officials cleared the entire African Forest section of the zoo out of an abundance of caution.

No animals were hurt and officials were able to contain the animal without using a tranquilizer.

The area is back open to the public, except the boardwalk as they continue to move animals around.

The Houston Zoo released the following statement:

A 28-year-old adult female western lowland gorilla  became curious about the red river hogs that share the exhibit and moved into an area that was unusual for the gorillas to explore. The gorilla was never outside animal containment, and guests we [SIC] not in danger at any time. Out of an abundance of caution, the zoo closed the entire African Forest section of the zoo so the response team could to safely reunite her with her troop.

The Houston Zoo's staff regularly trains for scenarios like this, and acted in accordance with all protocols for a safe and quick resolution.

The gorilla family troop is fully reunited and an investigation is underway to ensure this does not happen in the future.

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