Re: Gorilla Shooting at Cincinnati Zoo-Associated Questions

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Speedo66, Jun 2, 2016.

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  1. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Hopefully this post will not be too morbid.

    We've all read the recent news about a child wondering into a gorilla cage at the zoo in Cincinnati. Plenty of discussion/anger about how the child got there, whose fault it is, and the decision to use lethal force on the primate rather than wait for a tranquilizer dart to take effect. I see no need to me go there.

    What I am curious about is what weapons do zoos normally stock to cope with such moments? Considering the scope of African animals at many zoos, i.e., elephant, lion, etc., I'd guess they would need to have large African caliber rifles. Also, who on their staff is qualified to shoot such animals, and based on what experience?

    Not really something I'd given thought to before, but this event has me wondering. Do older zoos perhaps have a cache of classic African caliber guns, say fine vintage British double rifles, or old Griffin & Howe bolt actions? Be interesting to find out what's in their arsenals, and who, if anyone, practices with them and is ready to respond.

    Anybody have any insight into this?
     
  2. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    No insight from me. I did, however, make the same observation as you, that they apparently had at least one person ready to respond and that they had a firearm capable of doing the unpleasant task. I would also assume, like you, that they would be equipped with typical "dangerous game" calibers.

    It would be satisfying to my mild curiosity to know the answer, also. I can understand, though, that zoos are not exactly trumpeting information about their contingency plans to put down animals.
     
  3. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    From gunzine adverts in the 1960s, the proper Gorilla Gun was a Ruger .44 carbine.
    With the gas piston removed to render it a straight pull bolt action in accordance with colonial Africa game law.
     
  5. Midwest

    Midwest Member

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    I always wondered, what 'ammo' do they use for a tranquilizing dart gun? Blanks with a dart? Do they make the dart built in with a standard caliber? Or do they use an air gun?
    .
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The answer is yes. There are both powder and gas powered tranq dart guns.

    It is not like the movies, the drug does not act instantly.
    Plenty of time to twist off a kid's head before the ape passed out.
     
  7. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    Midwest I've seen tranq guns that use a .410 blank.
     
  8. SVTOhio

    SVTOhio Member

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    Commenting so I can come back to thread. Certainly a interesting topic!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. Midwest

    Midwest Member

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    Thanks for the answers
    .
     
  10. dmurdach

    dmurdach Member

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    Tranquilizer gun dart

    Here is a dart for the tranq gun I keep at the clinic. The gun uses plain CO2 cartridges.
     

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  11. roval

    roval Member

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    The zoo team shoots once a month in my city range. They go there shoot 30 to 60 minutes and leave. Haven't paid much attention to what they shoot. I think one of the calibers is 475 h&h the range masters was showing me the brass they left behind but they shoot several guns.
    They were the same blue shirts when shooting.
     
  12. roval

    roval Member

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    Correction - they wear the same blue shirts....
     
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    It would seem the gorilla would have had to have been dispatched instantly to prevent harm to the child while it was dying.

    So a brain shot with just about any caliber center-fire rifle would be called for.

    In that case, a .223 Varmint rifle would work as well or better then a .375 H&H big game rifle.
    With less risk of collateral damage from a big heavy bullet bouncing off the concrete behind him and hitting the child.

    rc
     
  14. gspn

    gspn Member

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    Here's a decent article about the DART Team from the Toledo Zoo. It's not the zoo where the gorilla was shot but it provides some insight into how their zoo is set up to handle such things.


    http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2016/06/01/Killing-of-gorilla-sparks-backlash.html

    From the article:


    "The current 10 DART members include maintenance workers, curators, and managers — enough people so that the zoo is always covered with at least one member on duty at all times. Three are women and seven are men.

    The guns assigned to the team are placed in lockers scattered strategically around the zoo.

    The 12 firearms used by the team include a 30.06-caliber rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, a 375-caliber rifle, and a 458-caliber rifle specifically for elephants, rhinos, and hippos.

    The team trains four hours a month at the Adams Conservation Club in Holland where they do target practice.

    Mr. Sailer said having a response team is required by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, though the requirements for the team are pretty general.

    “We have a team that is pulled from across the facility and what I really like about them is that we’re able to pull from people who have familiarity with firearms,” Mr. Sailer said.

    He said having to shoot an animal that one takes care of “is not an easy thing to do.”

    “The staff understands it. It’s about safety at the end of the day,” Mr. Sailer said."


    And if you really want to get down in the weeds, here is a presentation titled Animal Escape Response Preparedness. It's from the North Carolina Zoo and looks to be a training presentation on the policies and duties of all involved.

    https://www.aazk.org/wp-content/uploads/Animal-Escape-Preparedness.pdf
     
  15. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

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    I wouldn't bet on that, RC. Gorilla skulls are incredibly robust-they have to be in order to anchor all the muscle surrounding it. Much, much thicker than any human. By a factor of four or more. A large-caliber game rifle would definitely be required.
     
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    If you shoot it in the eye socket, ear, temple, or bridge of the nose, the skull thickness doesn't factor into it.

    A varmint rifle bullet exploding inside the thick skull will put his lites out instantly before he can react.

    That's all I was saying.
     
  17. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    In an article yesterday, the Toledo Zoo has:

    http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2016/06/01/Killing-of-gorilla-sparks-backlash.html


    From 10 years ago in another incident at a St Petersburg FL zoo

    http://www.sptimes.com/2006/08/24/Tampabay/Zookeeper_likely_to_f.shtml


    Seems that there's some commonality.
     
  18. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    I'm going to bet they either used the .30-06 or the 12ga. with a slug.
     
  19. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    Very interesting, I have wondered this myself. I do know that sometimes in the '60s or '70s (maybe even later) an NYPD cop had to kill a bear at a zoo and used his issue .38 revolver, a S&W M10 I believe.

    It worked, but not exactly the best bear cartridge.
     
  20. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Member

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    Well, that answers the "what caliber for gorilla" question...
     
  21. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    The original "Cap-tur" gun as developed by Dr. Jack Crockford Ph.D., who eventually became commissioner of the Georgia DNR was a 32ga shotgun (.50") firing a black powder blank charge especially adapted to the 1/2" metal syringe/dart.
    I once had the occasion to use one on a whitetail buck being held in a pen w/o a permit. For my purposes, the gun was over-powered, but due to good shot placement, worked.
    I'd guess the bp charge as 10-15gr of FFFg. Velocity maybe 300fps. The drug was measured by a biologist and I never saw label. Original drug used was nicotine.

    It took 5-7min for drug to sedate the 140lb deer to where two could physically pick up the animal and transfer for transport.

    IMO, the zoo used good judgement to protect the human. Evidently, the parents are going to be charged for failure to supervise/control the child.
    Local Marina has sign that says.... All pets, and some children must be leashed, while on these premises. Sounds like that should be Zoo policy!
     
  22. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

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    This really has nothing to do with the overall mission of THR.
     
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