The Jacksonville Zoo is a bit more wild than normal due to the “departure” of a 4,000 pound rhinoceros by the name of Archie. According to Huge rhinoceros escapes from cage at Florida zoo, the white rhinoceros was out of the cage when workers showed up last Thursday morning. Supposedly the cage was not secured properly. For five hours, workers tried to get him to return to his cage. After all, its not as if you can lift a 4000 pound rhinoceros. So how did they finally get Archie back into his cage? Twenty workers had to encircle him and then the rhino was sedated. Then, he was led back to his area. It is said that although Archie escaped, he was in an area separated from public areas by a fence. (I hope it was a fence made out of steel).
This animal escapade turned out to be a fortunate one. No one was hurt and there is not any reported damage. This is not the first time an animal has broken free from the zoo. In 2009, according to Ape escape: Audubon Zoo orangutan breaks out for a few minutes freedom, a Sumatran orangutan escaped from its enclosure. However, this time no one left a door opened. The orangutan escaped by climbing up a wall, wrapping a stretched-out shirt around “electrical wires surrounding the exhibit” and then simply “swung out.” Although the primate was around people, fortunately no one was hurt.
A more tragic tale surrounding an animal escape occurred during the holiday season of 2007. It was during this time that, based on information in Parents of teen killed by tiger: ‘It’s hard to believe’, a 17-year-old boy was killed by a tiger at the San Francisco Zoo.” Somehow the tiger escaped from the enclosure, and hurt two people before claiming the life of Carlos Souza. This was the first time someone had been killed at a zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
On a lighter note, in a five-year period, there were about 35 escapes at the Los Angeles Zoo. According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, the “escape rate” prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to file a “complaint in court.” Later, the department removed the claim after the LA zoo said they would do a “better job of keeping its animals under lock and key.” Although most of the escapes were minor, it’s nice to know measures have been put in place to prevent escapes, especially since I live near the LA Zoo and sometimes visit. Although last time I visited, there was an animated gorilla that was running up to the viewing divider and pounding on it. Practically everyone visiting the zoo that day sat and watched this spectacle.
I’m still wondering what old Archie did all night, loose at the zoo. Must have been an all night party.
Associated Press Huge rhinoceros escapes from cage at Florida zoo csmonitor.com
John Pope Ape escape: Audubon Zoo orangutan breaks out for a few minutes freedom The Times-Picayune
Parents of teen killed by tiger: ‘It’s hard to believe cnn.com
Matea Gold The wandering ways of L.A.’s zoo animals San Francisco Chronicle