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Rotterdam Zoo Bokito's escape at Rotterdam

Discussion in 'Netherlands' started by Yassa, 18 May 2007.

  1. Yassa

    Yassa Well-Known Member

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    In Rotterdam Zoo, Silverback Bokito has escaped from the gorilla island this afternoon while the zoo was full of visitors. He injured 2 persons and then was locked into a snack bar/ restaurant. He already escaped twice before coming to Rotterdam in Berlin Zoo, but he was not fully grown that time.

    In Leipzig Zoo, gorilla female N´Diki died. She was born 1978 in the wild and has serveral offspring in Münster Zoo and Burgers Zoo/Arnhem.
     
  2. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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  3. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I've just been reading the Press reports on Bokito's escape at Rotterdam and his recapture. It seems that he jumped the moat of the island, though nobody actually saw him do it. Then he grabbed a woman and dragged her along and bit her(typical gorilla attack) before entering the restaurant. There was a lot of panic and a few more people got hurt. Finally he was barricaded in and darted before being returned to his cage.

    Now a bit of a question mark hangs over his future at Blijdorp- how can they ensure he doesn't do it again? He will obviously have to remain indoors now while decisions are made...:( And he was doing so well there, breeding and all.)
     
  4. Writhedhornbill

    Writhedhornbill Well-Known Member

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    Have any other gorillas escaped? It is not as bad as a chimp escaping though. I was told that it would be one of the most dangerous animals to escape from it's exhibit.
     
  5. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Bokito also escaped twice from his enclosure at Berlin when he was younger.

    A male similar aged to Bokito(about ten) escaped at Dallas Zoo, Texas a few years back- he attacked a small boy before taking refuge in a shrubbery. Unfortunately police marksmen then shot him dead before any attempt at recapture could be made.

    A male at, I think ,Philadelphia once escaped but only ran up and down the safety area seperating his cage from the public and was lured back in again.

    There are several examples of gorillas getting into service passageways behind their indoor cages without escaping into the zoo. This happened at Dudley Zoo more than once(bad design of indoor cage layout) and a female keeper was badly mauled on one occassion by the male gorilla.

    At the Causeway Safari Park(now closed?) in Northern Ireland some years ago 3 adult male chimps escaped and roamed the grounds. They then entered the zoo's cafe and I saw some film of frightened visitors trying to fend of these by now excited males with chairs. I believe these chimps may have been shot dead.

    In America a couple of years back at a 'Chimpanzee refuge' two adult chimps escaped and badly mauled an elderly couple who had come to visit another chimp. The man tried to block the chimp from his wife- he had his face very badly mauled, fingers bitten off etc.

    Your right that Chimpanzees are likely to be more dangerous than gorillas- a gorilla charges about, and will grab and bite, but usually then runs on, whereas a Chimpanzee attacks full on and will grapple and bite causing horrific injury.
     
  6. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    At Jersey Zoo many years ago, the ten year old male Jambo, then recently arrived at the Zoo managed to jump from the climbing frame onto the top of the perimeter wall and strolled round it... Fortunately he couldn't get down on the outside, only back into the enclosure. The climbing equipment was quickly reduced in height to avoid it happening again.
     
  7. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Bokito's escape at Rotterdam.

    It seems poor Bokito didn't mean to cause panic and mayhem at Rotterdam during his recent escape from his enclosure, he just wanted to join the visitors...

    Bokito was handreared at Berlin and was often taken out into the zoo grounds as a young animal to meet people.. He still wanted to do this as he grew up and so escaped from his enclosure several times, it seems just to make contact with people.

    Now it seems that as a nearly fullgrown adult at Rotterdam, he just did it again!!! No harm meant- grabbing and wresting to the ground and biting the woman visitor was possibly play on HIS part though obviously not for her- it seems he really just wanted an outing. It would also explain why he deliberately broke into the restaurant where terrified people had gone to hide from him too.
    Poor Bokito- nobody would play, they all ran away screaming...

    Rotterdam will now have a problem- how to stop this ever happening again. (Choices;Alter enclosure design - send Bokito to an enclosed 'cage' situation- keep him indoors permanently):(
     
  8. jwer

    jwer Well-Known Member

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    Is this your opinion or do you have a source? From what i heared, the woman came at least 4 days a week and smiled at him. Bokito often became frustrated after her visits and took it out on his females, which is why the woman was asked to keep the interaction to a minimum.

    Some experts argue that Bokito wanted to include her in his harem and was frustrated he couldn't and she defied his leadership by smiling and walking off. The reason he went over the moat was probably to teach her some (gorilla) manners. The latest report about what went on after the attack was that he calmly walked into the restaurant and grabed something to chew on, which is in stark contrast with the whole "King Kong goes on a rampage" story the papers dished up shortly after his break-out.

    Last wednesday Blijdorp declared that Bokito will stay at Blijdorp and the outer exhibit will be modified to keep him on the island. The moat will be widened, sloped differently and deepened and parts of the outer exhibit will be fenced off with glas windows in between the high fences. Inside people will not be allowed within 1.2 meters of the glass anymore and the glass might be made one-side see-through only, so that the gorilla's can't see the public anymore.
     
  9. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    That's really interesting news. My estimation of the situation was based on what I'd been told, but I didn't have this additional information about the lady visitor. In that case I too would think he almost certainly jumped the moat out of frustration at her repeated proximity, as others have suggested. Grabbing, pinning down and biting her is classic behaviour by a male to chastise an errant female, so it seems that's what he regarded her as.

    I hope whatever they do to modify the outside enclosure will not compromise Bokito's safety. Widening and deepening the moat could make it more dangerous if he tries to cross it again.They need other deterrants to prevent him trying, especially as he knows he can do it now. An electric fence barrier set back on his side of the water to prevent a leap? Hopefully that particular lady visitor will have learnt to stay away from him now though!
     
  10. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Bokito and the lady

    I've now seen a short 'home' video clip filmed on some previous occassion before Bokito's escape, it shows the lady 'gorilla fan' interacting with Bokito through the glass of the inside cage in the Ape House. Bokito is obviously interested as he's sitting close to the glass and making funny faces at her. Finally he moves off and stands on a shelf.

    There's another 'short n' shaky' clip that shows him in the restaurant, but he's not actually doing anything...
     
  11. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Bokito's back outside again. Last week the young silverback and his group at Rotterdam Zoo were given access to the newly redesigned outdoor area, just a few weeks after he escaped by jumping across the water ditch. Now the enclosure has been hurriedly redesigned with an enormous dry ditch and very high wal replacing the water moat. They obviously feel this will be beyond even Bokito- the Houdini of gorillas. Or will it?

    We'll see. ;)