Just before 11:00 a.m., Koga, the Buffalo Zoo’s 24-year-old silverback gorilla, accessed the animal keeper aisle, located in a secure non-public area behind the gorilla exhibit. The keeper, who was servicing the area, sustained superficial bite wounds on her right hand and left calf. For safety, the keeper locked herself in one of the holding cages with Sidney, a 14-year-old gorilla, and her one-and-a-half-year-old baby, Amari, who both know the keeper well.
The keeper alerted the animal escape team. Protocols were in place and meticulously followed.
Visitors were escorted into safe areas. The Buffalo Zoo’s veterinary team immobilized Koga and placed him back into his holding area.
The keeper was treated onsite for her injuries and was transported to the hospital for further evaluation.
“In this emergency situation, we experienced the best possible outcome thanks to the training and professionalism of the Buffalo Zoo staff, as well as members of the Buffalo Police Department, especially the SWAT team,” said Dr. Donna M. Fernandes, Buffalo Zoo President/CEO.
The Buffalo Zoo reopened to the public at 1:00 p.m. Koga will be off exhibit for the remainder of the day.