A Los Angeles zoo worker fell at least 20 feet into a gorilla enclosure on Thursday morning, ending up with an apparent broken leg and requiring a complicated rescue.
Luckily for the 61-year-old worker, who has not been identified, at the time the four gorillas often frequenting the enclosure were locked inside in their sleeping area, the Los Angeles Zoo said in a Twitter statement.
The zoo employee was working on landscaping in the area and slipped, said a zoo spokesperson who told the Los Angeles Times
that he appeared to have broken his femur.
Firefighters and emergency personnel responded to the scene, KTLA 5
reported, and video from the station showed two Los Angeles Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue teams using ropes and ladders to hoist the man to safety.
Zoo officials told KTLA the zoo worker was conscious throughout the rescue operation; a fire department spokesperson said he was in fair condition. The incident is under investigation.
Zoo accidents of this nature can be deadly. In 2012, a two-year-old boy died after he accidentally fell into an enclosure of wild African dogs at the Pittsburg Zoo, The Associated Press
The boy's mother had sat him up on the railing to give him a better view, but the boy tumbled into the enclosure and was attacked by the dogs. While zoo officials were able to call some of the dogs away, AP said, one dog had to be shot by emergency personnel.
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