An ‘urgent inquiry’ is needed after a male gorilla escaped from its enclosure at Dalston Zoo, say conservationists.
The western lowland silverback’s escape yesterday did not endanger the public but it ‘could have ended very differently’, the Born Free Foundation warned.
‘As it happened,’ said Dalston conservationist Rita Herb, ‘Umbongo was not injured during the escape and is now fully integrated into Dalston life. But it all might have been very different.’
Since his escape, the 29-stone Umbongo has joined the staff of the Dalston Circus Skills College and will be working part-time on an organic falafel stall at weekends, unless it conflicts with a DJ-ing gig he’s got lined up.
But Ms Herb says that Umbongo has had a lucky escape: ‘He was out of his enclosure and wandering around Dalston alone for hours,’ she told the Mercury, ‘I shudder to think what might have happened.’
‘He could have been recruited by the Tories, for instance. He might have had his head turned by pro-Brexit propaganda and gone around being condescending to the French.’
‘What if he’d needed to access NHS mental health services in an emergency? With the current state of underfunding in the public sector he would have been left to wander the streets alone and vulnerable. Well, as vulnerable as an advanced primate who can tear the head off a rhino can be. But still…’
Happily Umbongo has avoided the blight of youth unemployment, has managed to stay off recreational drugs (except the occasional bit of puff, obviously), has adopted a sensible approach to alcohol, bought a fixed-gear bicycle, attended NUS-sponsored consensual sex classes, been on at least three anti-Trident marches and has become a regular customer of both Cafe Oto and the Arcola Theatre, where he has developed a reputation as an authority on early Strindberg.
We would like to say he’s done pretty well for a gorilla, but that would be racist, according to Ms Herb.