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UPDATE: Zoo Guest Captures Frightening Moment Dog Enters Gorilla Enclosure

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on June 23, 2022

UPDATE 6/23/2022 –

The San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) named the dog “Mighty Joe Young” after his crazy adventure in the gorilla enclosure. They gave him a health checkup and neutered him. He was scared and had a few ticks, but other than that, he was in good shape.

Now, Might Joe Young’s owner has come forward to claim him. They said his real name is Meatball, and he escaped his home and went to the zoo all on his own. The owners wished to remain anonymous, and they haven’t given any more details about Meatball’s escape.

Meatball at humane society

“The dog was very easy, sweet, a nice dog. Very easy to leash,” said SDHS officer Samantha Clark. “He was incredibly lucky that he did not get any injuries from his encounter.”

Meatball’s family installed a trolley system in their yard so they can tie the pup outside without worrying about him running off again. Although after this event, he’s probably had enough adventuring for a while.

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Original Post –

Guests of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park recently witnessed a horrifying interaction when a stray dog entered the gorilla enclosure. No one is sure how a dog got into the zoo or the enclosure, but once a gorilla started chasing the canine, everyone panicked.

A few guests filmed the interactions between the dog and gorilla. Both are innocent animals that don’t deserve to be hurt. But sadly, if a fight broke out, the dog wouldn’t stand a chance next to the gorilla’s strength. Luckily, zoo staff and animal rescuers rushed to the scene and settled the chaos before anyone was harmed.

Dog in gorilla enclosure

Stray Dogs Enter the Zoo

According to the zoo, multiple dogs were wandering the property the day of the incident. Yet, no one knows how those dogs got into the zoo in the first place. Somehow, a Shepherd mix found his way into the gorilla enclosure, where a gorilla known as Frank was wandering around.

Several zoo guests pulled out their phones once they spotted a dog exploring the gorilla exhibit. In the video footage, Frank noticed the dog and started walking near him. A large drop surrounds the enclosure, so the dog had nowhere to escape.

Soon, the gorilla chased the dog around the enclosure. Watching the video is a nerve-wracking experience, so it must have been especially terrifying for the bystanders. Many guests called out Frank’s name to try to distract him from the dog.

Gorilla chasing dog

RELATED: Zoo Staff ‘Refused’ To Save Drowning Chimp, Suddenly Man Jumps Into Enclosure

Bystanders tried distracting the gorillas to coax the dog out. Staff eventually escorted people out of the area,” wrote news reporter Hunter Sowards.

All Animals and Humans are Safe

Zoo staff and people from the San Diego Humane Society came as soon as they heard about the dog. The zoo staff members safely removed the gorillas from the enclosure. They explained that recall training is an important safety procedure for the animals in the park.

Once the gorillas were out of the way, shelter staff approached the dog, who was understandably shaken. Yet, he was friendly and allowed the strangers to put a leash on him and give him treats. Luckily, none of the other dogs found in the zoo entered any exhibits.

Woman saving dog from gorilla enclosure

“Our Humane Officers were able to move in and safely leash the shepherd and bring him back to our Escondido Campus for evaluation,” the humane society said.

The dog didn’t have a microchip, so he’s being held at the San Diego Humane Society to see if anyone claims him. If he doesn’t have a family, he’ll be put up for adoption. The other dogs are also safe, but the shelter hasn’t released information about them. It’s great that all humans and animals are okay after this frightening situation.

Watch the Nerve-Wracking Video Here:

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