ESCONDIDO, Calif. – A stray dog was rescued Sunday after it wandered into the gorilla enclosure at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in northern San Diego County, San Diego Humane Society and zoo officials said.
Officials believe the dog, a male shepherd with no microchip, got into the park on his own, Humane Society spokeswoman Nina Thompson said in an email. Zoo staffers say he may have been part of a pair of domestic dogs running loose in the park, virtually undetected until he was noticed in the gorilla habitat around 4 p.m.
Wildlife care specialists then recalled the two gorillas from the enclosure, which the zoo said is “part of the regular safety procedures at the park.”
Officers from the Humane Society responded about 6:30 p.m., Thompson said.
“Our three Humane Officers were able to move in and safely leash the shepherd and bring him back to San Diego Humane Society’s Escondido Campus for evaluation,” she said.
The dog, dubbed “Mighty Joe Young” by the Humane Society, was not injured in the incident and no other injuries were reported to zoo animals, staff or guests of the park. Thompson said he’s now been placed on a stray hold as the organization searches for his rightful owner.
“We are so glad no one was hurt,” Thompson said.
To contact the San Diego Humane Society about “Mighty Joe Young,” call 619-299-7012 or click or tap here.