San Diego Zoo Temporarily Closes Gorilla Exhibit After Aggressive Interaction Between Animals

The zoo referred to the incident as "an exciting moment of interaction"

The gorilla exhibit at the San Diego Zoo has been temporarily closed since Saturday after one of the gorillas aggressively smashed another into the glass viewing window.

Robert De La Pena told local news station CBS 8 that he was at the zoo — which was closed for months earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic — and witnessed the incident with his family.

"As we were watching them, all the gorillas were running around the enclosure. They were getting riled up," De La Pena recalled.

According to De La Pena, one of the gorillas walked in front of the enclosure and slammed another gorilla into the glass, damaging it.

"I jokingly turn to my mom [and said,] 'like the one in Nebraska did,'" he told the outlet, referring to a similar incident that occurred in 2015 at a zoo in Omaha, Nebraska.

San Diego Zoo Temporarily Closes Gorilla Exhibit After Animals Charge Glass Window

San Diego Zoo Global told CBS 8 in a statement: "On Saturday afternoon, our visitors witnessed the gorillas in an exciting moment of interaction, one that is natural behavior in their habitat. They hit the glass viewing window, but it is 6 layers of glass and just an internal layer was cracked. The area was roped off from guests and the gorillas were off habitat while damage was assessed."

De La Pena told the outlet, “To get everybody out took a while. The gorillas were being taken away. People couldn’t believe it. It was a big commotion."

The zoo said that as of Monday, it is unknown when the exhibit will reopen.

The San Diego Zoo, located in Balboa Park, opened in 1916 and is home to nearly 4,000 animals. It is the most visited zoo in the United States, according to its website.

Related Articles