Domestic dog rescued from Gorilla exhibit at San Diego Zoo Safari Park
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego Humane Society continued Wednesday to care for “Mighty Joe Young,” a dog who found his way into the gorilla enclosure at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park last weekend.
On Sunday, the dog made his own way into the park and then the ape enclosure, prompting a call to SDHS officers.
The gorillas watched the dog warily, according to zoo staff reports, with one following the lost dog for a short period of time and another chasing it away from a ledge. When zoo staff saw the dog, they were able to recall the animals using their safety recall procedures.
The three SDHS officers were able to leash the one-and-a-half-year-old shepherd and bring him back to the organization’s Escondido campus for evaluation. He does not have a microchip.
“The dog was very easy, sweet, a nice dog. Very easy to leash,” said SDHS officer Samantha Clark, who responded on Sunday. “He was incredibly lucky that he did not get any injuries from his encounter.”
Neither the dog nor the gorillas were hurt in the incident, SDHS and Safari Park staff reported.
On Monday, Mighty Joe Young received a veterinary exam by the San Diego Humane Society’s Dr. Brie Sarvis. She removed several ticks from the dog, but said he is otherwise in good condition. The dog has also been given all of his vaccines.
Now, he waits at the Escondido campus on a “stray hold,” a four-day period for the owner to come forward and claim him. If no owner comes forward during that period, Mighty Joe Young will be scheduled for neuter surgery before being placed for adoption.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park issued the following statement regarding the incident:
This afternoon, June 12, 2022, a couple of domestic dogs were loose in the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. One of the dogs jumped into the gorilla habitat around 4 p.m. Wildlife care specialists successfully recalled the two gorillas out of the habitat so the dog could be removed. Recall training is a part of the regular safety procedures at the Park. The dogs were successfully removed and no Safari Park animals, staff or guests were harmed.