Loose Dog Rescued from San Diego Safari Park After Jumping into Zoo's Gorilla Habitat

The San Diego Humane Society rescued a male shepherd from the gorilla enclosure and is now searching for the pet's owner

dog rescued from gorilla enclosure
Photo: San Diego Humane Society

The gorilla habitat at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park recently became the site of a successful dog rescue.

On Sunday, zoo officials reported that two dogs were loose inside the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance's San Diego Zoo Safari Park, a 1,800-acre zoo in California, according to ABC10. Around 4 p.m., one of the dogs — a male shepherd — reportedly jumped into the facility's gorilla habitat.

Several zoo guests witnessed the incident and posted videos on social media. Desteniey Pickett, who saw the dog in the gorilla exhibit during her visit to the park, told CBS8 that her family saw the dog act distressed and witnessed the canine running around the enclosure before a gorilla chased the pet.

Pickett added that concerned visitors began to yell for help as no zookeepers were nearby. Others yelled the gorilla's name to distract the primate's attention away from the scared dog, she told the outlet.

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dog rescued from gorilla enclosure
San Diego Humane Society

Once zookeepers were notified about the dog in the gorilla habitat, they quickly removed the apes from their outdoor enclosure.

"Wildlife care specialists successfully recalled the two gorillas out of the habitat so the dog could be removed," the safari park shared in a statement. "Recall training is a part of the regular safety procedures at the Park." The facility added that no people, pets, or zoo animals were harmed during the incident.

The San Diego Humane Society told CBS that three of its officers responded to calls about the loose pet around 6:30 p.m.

"As soon as zoo staff saw the dog, they moved the gorillas out," the SD Humane Society announced on social media. "Our Humane Officers were able to move in and safely leash the shepherd and bring him back to our Escondido Campus for evaluation."

The shepherd reportedly had no microchip and will remain under a stray hold at the shelter while rescuers work to find the canine's owner.

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