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Gorilla sparks emergency after escaping London Zoo enclosure

A GORILLA sparked a major emergency at London Zoo after breaking out of its enclosure.

Although members of the public and staff were locked in, the zoo insisted they were not at risk.

Staff armed with tranquiliser darts roamed the zoo looking for the animal, before it was eventually recaptured.

The incident came just months after Harambe the gorilla was killed by staff at Cincinatti Zoo as it held a child who had fallen into its enclosure.

The Metropolitan Police said they got a call from the Zoo at 5.17pm. The animal was recaptured shortly before 6.30pm, when police told The Independent the "incident had been concluded".

The primate is said to be a western lowland gorilla called Kumbuka. Reports suggest it was not the first time it had tried to escape from captivity.

An employee at London Zoo reportedly said the gorilla had attempted to smashed the glass in the enclosure before, telling BuzzFeed News: "He's smashed the enclosure glass a couple of times."

One visitor at the zoo at the time posted a photo of the alleged gorilla facing the window in the encolsure, and said it was taken "just two seconds before he threw himself at the window."

There have been no reports of injuries to the public, although some visitors expressed fear and concern as parts of the central London zoo was put on lock down and heavily armed police were summoned to help zoo workers hunt down the animal.

One visitor, Dr Jonathan Mall, tweeted during the incident: "Huddling in a building at the London Zoo after staff told us to get into a building quickly."

Eyewitness Brad Evans told BBC Radio London he had been "locked in" before seeing police turn up "with loads of guns".

Mr Evans said: "We were having a cup of coffee in the main restaurant area when they locked us all in and said there was an incident.

"They gave us free teas and coffees and obviously we were asking what was going on and they told us that a gorilla had got out of its enclosure.

"As we were waiting we saw the police turning up in numbers with loads of guns."

Following the incident there has been speculation that that the primate made the escape in honour of Harambe, the gorilla that was shot to death in a US zoo in May, sparking a global outcry.

The animal's condition remains unclear.

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