Sunday, June 08, 2014

Gorilla escape drill misfires on Tenerife. Overdressed?


The story below happened in Loro Parque on Tenerife last Wednesday and was widely reported in the international media. Here is how The Independent summarised it:
''A man dressed in a gorilla suit has been shot with a tranquiliser dart by a panicked vet who thought a real ape was on the loose in Tenerife.
The unlucky zoo attendant had been charged with dressing up as a gorilla for an escape drill and apparently played his part a little too well on Monday.
In an suspected communication failure, police were called to the Loro Parque theme park in Puerto de la Cruz to reports of an escaped gorilla.
The 35-year-old man was running around in the suit as part of the planned training exercise at the time and a confused vet reportedly shot him in the leg with enough sedative to knock out a 200kg animal.
According to La Opinion de Tenerife, the 35-year-old suffered an allergic reaction to the drug and was taken to hospital in a serious condition and given an antidote.
Health and safety authorities are investigating the accident and the tranquiliser gun and sedative have been confiscated by police...''
However, a few days later the zoo, trying to save face, denied the victim was dressed as a gorilla as the The Telegraph reported: 
''A Spanish zoo has denied that one of its keepers was wearing a gorilla suit when  mistakenly shot with a tranquilliser dart by veterinary staff. Authorities at the Loro Parque on the Canary Island of Tenerife insisted late on Thursday it was a simple accident that occurred during a routine emergency drill."A routine exercise to simulate the escape of a gorilla from its enclosure was carried out on Monday during which a zookeeper was accidentally hit by a tranquilliser dart that vets use in these instances," said the statement issued by the Canary Island zoo. "The zookeeper was immediately treated by emergency services and admitted for observation to the University Hospital, Tenerife."...''

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