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Gorillas Briefly Escape Enclosure At Como Zoo

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — Three gorillas at the Como Zoo in St. Paul escaped their main enclosure. But, zoo officials say a second gorilla-proof barrier kept the animals from roaming free Thursday morning.

Zoo officials said at 9:50 a.m., a radio call was made that the bachelor group of three gorillas – Jabir, Sampson and Virgil — had left their indoor enclosure through an unsecured door behind the scenes of the indoor gorilla habitat.

The zoo then told visitors to get inside a safe shelter, including the conservatory, when the gorilla got out of its enclosure. But, officials say no visitors or animals were ever in danger.

At 10:10 a.m., Jabir and Sampson were secured in their habitat. Virgil explored the inside secured area for a while before moving back into the habitat at 10:40 a.m., the zoo said.

“Como Staff has a detailed Emergency Response procedure that includes animal escape situations and that are practiced regularly. The Como Emergency response team moved into position to successfully mitigate the situation and at no time was the public, staff, or animals ever in danger,” the zoo said in a statement released late Thursday morning.

Como Zoo doesn’t open to the public until 10 a.m.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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