London Zoo Gorilla Escape Shows ‘Waste’ Of Kumbuka’s £5m Enclosure Says Born Free

“I’m very disappointed with London Zoo,” Draper told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “Accidents do happen, but this is a concerning turn of events. This is an enclosure that was built in 2007 at a cost of £5.3 million – funds that as far as I’m concerned could have been far better used conserving gorillas in the wild.

“[The enclosure is] really not an overwhelming piece of of architecture, nor is it in my opinion very fit for purpose, not least that gorillas can obviously escape form it, but the design is not really compatible with natural gorilla behavior.”

Draper said that video footage of visitors “shrieking and shouting” at Kumbuka yesterday showed how few “educational” benefits there were to keeping gorillas in zoos.

The Today played interviews with visitors who were shut in buildings during the escape, one of whom said: “It was like being in Jurassic park, very exciting”.

Eyewitnesses said they were warned not to look him in the eye while he was agitated before he escaped, by some were reportedly “egging him on” in the moments before he charged at the glass, the Mail reports.

“Zoos will often claim that there is an educational role in maintaining these animals for visitors to look at, but I think I need only look at some of the video footage that’s coming through from yesterday’s escape to see that there is a little educational about people watching these animals behind glass, shrieking and shouting when the animal bangs its fist on the glass in frustration,” Draper said.

“The conservation benefits of keeping gorillas in zoo are negligible at best in my opinion.”

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