New York’s Bronx Zoo is experiencing a real-life nightmare. ABCnews.com reported that a deadly resident of the zoo, the Egyptian cobra, has escaped from its enclosure. Zoo officials have stated they believe the 20-inch-long Egyptian cobra is still contained within the reptile house. However, this is not the first animal to breakout of its enclosure in captivity.
In 2004, at the Dallas Zoo, a 300-pound Lowland Gorilla named Jabari escaped, hospitalizing several people. MSNBC.com reported that zoo officials could not explain how Jabari escaped from his enclosure. However, after an hour of unsuccessfully trying to search for the gorilla with tranquilizer guns. Dallas police shot and killed the critically endangered gorilla.
Dallas police stated the gorilla charged two of their officers, so they had to take the shot. However, this is not the first time a gorilla has escaped from their enclosure at Dallas Zoo. In 1998, a 340-pound gorilla escaped after a zookeeper forgot to close the cage door.
ABCnews.com reports, in 2007, that a 350-pound Siberian tiger named Tatiana escaped from her enclosure on Christmas day. However, before Tatiana was shot and killed, the tiger mauled three people. She killed one of the victims. When Tatiana was shot, she was standing beside one of the victims.
There was an excellent chance that the 350-lbs tiger would have killed the victim if the police did not take the shot when they did. Nevertheless, this was not the first time Tatiana had been responsible for an incident. A year earlier during a regular public feeding, the tiger reached through its cage and tore flesh from a zookeepers arm.
Some animal escapes do not come from zoos. In 2009, nine snow monkeys escaped from their cages at the primate center, at Oregon Health and Science University. KPTV.com reported that the nine monkeys escaped after caretakers forgot to lock their cages. It took over three days to capture all the monkeys. It was believed carelessness on the part of the cage cleaner, was the cause of the escape. Despite some reports that suggested it might be an animal rights activist.
New Yorkers should not let this incident keep them from visiting the New York Zoo. The fact is zoos are housing wild animals in enclosures that in many cases are smaller than the animal’s natural habitat. If a wild animal sees an opportunity to escape, odds are the animal is going to escape. Zookeepers need to pay more attention to details when designing enclosures and making sure to lock cages.