Relief keeper Andy Wood and Gary Clarke of the bird staff were told of the situation. They had several options open to them. Shooting the gorillas would be a last resort. There were so many animals in the enclosure it could not be done quickly. An alternative to use blowpipes and darts would take ages to set up. It would take at least 15 minutes to put each one asleep. Without knowing the extent of Levan’s injuries this time delay could be very dangerous.
A Nurse at the scene saw Levan was too quiet and said to everyone they had to try and wake Levan by calling his name. This was to try to prevent him slipping into a coma. After 10 minutes he awoke up. Levan started to scream possibly due to his injuries and at the same time looking at Jambo.
The gorillas were shocked by the crying. Deciding not to hang around to discover what this human was going to do they all moved off towards the safety of their covered quarters. Jambo also decided it was time to leave and lead the way.
The keepers ushered the animals inside. But as they did so a young gorilla called Hobbit dashed out.
Things now seemed worse. The excited eight year old, seventeen stone male gorilla was kept away from Jambo as they would fight to take control of group.
Levan had by now rolled on his back and had stopped moving.
Hobbit was racing around. Pauline was hysterical. To calm her down two policemen had taken her to the cages to see gorillas inside. She could see through the glass the animals were calm and locked up. She did not know till following day that a 17 stone gorilla was running around the enclosure with her boy inside.
She could not understand why Levan had not been rescued.
It was Brian Fox’s day to be ambulance attendant on this emergency call. He had received a call that a boy was in with the gorillas. He thought it must be a joke. The truth would soon hit him.
Relief keeper Andy Wood hadn’t had a chance of relationship with gorillas and the second keeper who was more used to tending the birds had even less. They got into the enclosure just as the ambulance arrived. Andy grabbed a short stick for some sort of protection.
Hobbit was still racing around. Andy entered the enclosure and decided to give a positive tall stance and stand his ground. Hobbit gave an aggressive display and wanted to get closer to see what was happening.
At this time Levan was crying. Brian Fox saw this as a good sign as his breathing was OK, and he was conscious. They tried to work out a plan to get him out. Levan then rolled over on his back, stopped crying and started making choking noises. This could suffocate him. Without knowing if Levan could have spinal injuries the keepers could not move him. Someone had to check the boy and quickly.