On March 30, a silverback gorilla seeking to dine on bamboo almost swung out of his exhibit space at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, an incident that led the zoo to fortify the perimeter of the exhibit.
Barbara Baker, the zoo's chief executive officer, confirmed on Wednesday that the 450-pound gorilla had grabbed hold of some bamboo that bent and extended out over a corner of the gorilla exhibit's encircling moat but the bamboo cracked, lowering him to the ground before he could climb over a tall wall around the exhibit.
"The gorilla was very creative, looking for bamboo above the exhibit," Ms. Baker said. "Whether he could have got his 450-pound butt up and over the 14-foot-tall wall we don't know but we have added additional safety measures."
She said the zoo has installed a fence wire with low voltage electricity "to discourage him from going after the bamboo again." Zoo personnel also have trimmed the bamboo back and out of reach.
"So the animal never got out of the exhibit," Ms. Baker said. "Safety is our No. 1 priority and every day the keepers look at the exhibit spaces to check for safety and avoid any type of escape."