Dramatic video captured the moment a stray dog wandered into a gorilla’s enclosure at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park – as hordes of visitors went on the oncoming monkey business.
“Staff and guests were shocked to see a dog inside the gorilla enclosure, and called the San Diego Humane Society for help,” the San Diego Humane Society said on Facebook about the horror on Sunday.
“The stray dog is believed to have strayed into the park on its own and managed to enter the dwelling before being spotted,” the organization said.
“Thankfully, zoo staff were able to move the gorilla to an isolated area while our three humanitarian officers leash the dog and brought him to a safe location!” It said, adding that the male shepherd has been nicknamed “Mighty Joe Young”.
Park visitor Destiny Pickett told CBS 8 that her family noticed the dog running around in panic as the animal began to follow it around the enclosure.
She said some guests called for help, while others shouted the name of a gorilla in attempts to divert attention from the dog’s interloper.
Another visitor, Robert Rolls, captured the chaotic scene on video, with park staff trying to get the two gorillas under control.
“They just started chasing him and he was so nervous,” he told CBS 8 about the animals. “A lot of staff came from the zoo and they literally kicked us out.”
Staff eventually managed to move the gorilla to another area of the enclosure, and the San Diego Humane Society rescued the dog.
The group’s Samantha Clarke told the news outlet that she used a calm, friendly voice with the dog who “just wanted to go out.”
“He was in a new environment with a new smell. Obviously being chased by a gorilla would be terrifying,” she said. “I think the gorilla was probably trying to drive the intruder out of his territory, but I’m sure if he had put up a fight – he was probably ready for it.”
Humane Society representative Nina Thompson told the San Diego Tribune that she had been informed of three dogs running rampantly around the park. It is not known how the dog entered the enclosure.
“I just met him, and he’s so cute,” she said Monday of Mighty Joe Young, who didn’t have a tag or a microchip.
Thompson said she would be held for four days to give the potential owner time to claim her before being placed up for adoption.