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article imageTenerife gorilla suit story was a tad exaggerated

By Anne Sewell     Jun 7, 2014 in World
Santa Cruz De Tenerife - The media reported a funny story on Friday, saying that a veterinarian had shot a man in a gorilla suit with a tranquillizer dart. The story was a little, well, exaggerated. Yes, a vet shot the dart, but no, the guy wasn't wearing a gorilla suit.
On Friday Digital Journal reported the story of a veterinarian, arriving at a drill at the Loro Parque zoo and marine park which was being run to simulate a gorilla escape.
At the time, the media was stating that the vet had panicked and had shot a man, running around in a gorilla suit, with a tranquillizer dart.
The real story, according to Loro Parque officials is that during the safety drill a call did go out to the vets, giving a false warning that one of the five gorillas had escaped a safety pen and was on his way to another area of the zoo.
When one of the vets arrived, an employee explained the situation to the vet and that it was a fictitious emergency, merely run as a safety drill.
At that moment, purely accidentally, the vet fired the tranquillizer gun, which shot one of the zoo keepers in the leg.
The 35-year-old man was then treated by medical staff at the center and was transferred to the Hospital Universitario de Canarias. He was then kept under observation for a day-and-a-half before being discharged.
According to Patricia Delponti, head of communications at the park, the man was in perfect health, despite the impact of the projectile and the heavy dose of tranquilizer he received during the drill.
As one of the largest parks of its kind in Spain, drills of this nature are a regular and essential occurrence at Loro Parque. In each case, only a small number of staff are actually aware that the emergency is not real. In the latest case, only the two gorilla keepers, director of the park, head of emergencies and the director of a health and safety company who was there to evaluate the operation, knew what was going on.
Everything had apparently gone according to plan until the accidental discharge of the tranquillizer dart.
The park has issued an official statement about the incident on their website (in Spanish).
“Everything that has been published in the foreign press about the keeper being dressed up as a gorilla, and that he was walking through the park in a gorilla suit, and that he was found in his underwear, is completely false,” said Delponti.
“If they told the story in the way it really happened, it wouldn’t be that funny.”
Regrettably, the writer missed the bit about him being found in his underwear.
More about loro parque, gorilla suit, Veterinarian, Gorilla, tranquillizer
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