A man dressed in a gorilla suit has been accidentally shot at a zoo in Tenerife. The 35 year old member of park staff was shot by a vet who had not been told that he was participating in a drill to practise what to do if an animal escaped.
According to La Opinión de Tenerife, the man was shot with a tranquilliser designed for a 400lb gorilla. He was later found in his underwear having got out of the gorilla suit.
Staff at the zoo claimed he was making noises and gesticulations to ensure the drill appeared to be as realistic as possible. However a vet on site had not been informed of the drill and so took what he believed to be appropriate action given the circumstances.
The vet opened fire with a narcotic dart that struck the man in the leg leading him to require hospital treatment at the University Hospital of the Canary Islands. At hospital the victim was given an antidote and is now in stable condition.
The police are now investigating whether staff at the 33-acre Loro Parque are guilty of negligence over the incident. They have already established that the tranquilliser gun was required for animal escapes and was therefore held legally.
The park is visited by over 40 million holidaymakers every year, including a large number of Brits. The accident will raise further concerns about the standard of health and safety at tourist spots in Spain, following a large number of preventable accidents.
The park was the site of a fatal accident in 2009 when Alexis Martinez Hernandez, 29, a wildlife trainer, died after a whale crushed his rib cage after he fell off it.