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Exotic Animal Incident Report

Reported: Sep 28, 2003
Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Animal: Gorilla
Animal Disposition: recaptured

Facility Type: Accredited AZA Zoo
Facility Name: Franklin Park Zoo

Category: Escape of animal, Attack resulting in human injury
Species: Primate

Summary: Little Joe, a 5-foot-tall, 300-pound gorilla, escaped from his cage at the Franklin Park Zoo by scaling a 10-foot-wide, 12-foot-deep moat, getting past electric wire, and leaving the zoo grounds just before closing. During the escape, Little Joe attacked an 18-year-old woman, throwing her several feet in air, stepping on her, dragging her, and biting her on her back. The woman was holding a 2-year-old girl who was snatched out of her arms and slammed to the ground. The child, whose front teeth were pushed back, was hospitalized after doctors stitched up her head. Little Joe was found two hours later, sitting at a bus stop, and was recaptured using tranquilizer darts as a crowd of more than 100 people watched. This was Little Joe’s second escape from the zoo this year.

Source: The Boston Globe, KIRO-TV Channel 7 (CBS) Seattle, Boston Herald, Associated Press

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