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May 27, 2009

Gorilla briefly escapes, stays in building

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio said a 52-year-old gorilla walked through an unsecured door and wandered through a building.

Zoo officials said Colo the gorilla, who is believed to be the oldest gorilla in captivity, left her room in the indoor gorilla enclosure through an unsecured door at about 9:35 a.m. Tuesday and wandered the halls before she was lured back to her exhibit by keepers bearing yogurt and Coca-Cola, The Columbus Dispatch reported Wednesday.

Zoo director Jeff Swanagan said Colo's keepers had been in a break room near the gorilla's habitat at the time of her brief escape.

Colo apparently overheard them and decided to join the conversation, he said.

Swanagan said the gorilla exhibit was closed for about 45 minutes, a standard safety measure during an incident involving an animal.