These gorillas had an unexpected visitor. Luckily, everything turned out okay, but this dog won’t be forgetting his primate encounter any time soon.
It’s just a normal sunny day in the gorilla enclosure at the San Diego Zoo when suddenly, the gorillas received a surprise guest. A dog somehow materializes in their enclosure in front of zoo guests, one of which videos the chance meeting.
The dog seems to be a little surprised when he finds himself staring into the face of a huge gorilla. The dog freezes for a moment and when the gorilla looks like it’s going to pounce, the dog takes off across the enclosure.
The gorilla chases the dog, who at this point, is running for his life. The tan German shepherd mix bolts through the grass, with an enormous gorilla right behind him. Guests realize the seriousness of the situation and quickly try to distract the gorilla by calling his name, “Franklin Franklin…”
Franklin certainly is distracted but it’s not by the humans calling his name. He’s focused on the dog, and it would be interesting to be able to read his mind at this point. Was the dog a friend or foe? We’ll never know thanks to quick-thinking zookeepers who used his safe words to recall him.
The zookeepers manage to call Franklin and another gorilla into the safety of the back of their enclosure. It is then animal control arrives to catch the dog, who appears ready to call his adventure a day.
The Humane Society dubbed the dog Mighty Joe Young. Mighty Joe didn’t have a chip or a tag so the humane society could only hope his owner would claim him, which they did. Turns out Mighty Joe Young was named Meatball.
Meatball was first cleared medically and neutered by San Diego Humane Society veterinarians before he could return home. Since his escape, his owners have taken steps to ensure he never gets loose again. No more visits to the gorilla enclosure for this meatball!
We hope you enjoyed this story. Although it had a happy ending, there are so many ways it could have gone wrong. Thankfully, Meatball found his way safely home and that’s the most important thing. But also, a good reminder to microchip and provide tags for your pets.
We hope you enjoyed watching Meatball’s great zoo adventure. His owners sure have a story to tell. As always, please feel free to share with your friends.