WATCH: Stray Dog Gets Chased by Gorillas After Entering San Diego Zoo Enclosure, Luckily Gets Out Safe

by Patrick Norton

“Like a gorilla chasing a stray dog” sounds like the beginning of a long-winded expression, but it actually happened in the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on Sunday. Video captured by onlookers shows the dog dodging Franklin, a silverback gorilla, within the confines of the beast’s enclosure.

The pup – who lacked tags or any proper identification – jumped into the habitat after he and two other strays entered the park. A group of visitors witnessed the dogs running loose and notified zookeepers, who assessed the situation before ultimately calling the San Diego Humane Society.

While the footage captures the dog’s narrow misses with Franklin and another gorilla hot on his tail, it fails to show the heroic rescue that brought the pooch to safety. Zookeepers distracted the gorillas while San Diego Humane officers snatched and leashed the curious canine – later nicknamed Mighty Joe Young – avoiding potential disaster.

The nickname is more than just an identifier for the former stray; a 1998 movie (and remake of a 1949 film of the same name) titled Mighty Joe Young follows a fictional tale of a gorilla raised in a California wildlife preserve by a zoologist. Now the fictional gorilla and the rescued pup share two commonalities: both faced near certain death following a visit to a California zoo.

A Dog Is “Man’s Best Friend”… Until It Isn’t A Dog

Dogs serve a wonderful purpose nowadays: to accompany us on our journeys throughout life.

However, it’s best you double-check to make sure it’s actually a dog accompanying your travels. Just last week, a man mistakenly poked his nose where no nose should go. While enjoying a stay at a Florida hotel, a man investigated a rustling bush and a figure that, in the dark, resembled a dog on a leash. However, when the man got too close, he discovered a less-than-friendly-foe: an alligator.

The man – like Mighty Joe Young – would escape the creature before any life-threatening damage could take place.

But it begs the question: would you rather unknowingly wander into a gorilla habitat, the Thunderdome of zoo exhibits, or face an alligator with an astounding knowledge of guerrilla warfare tactics?

As for Mighty Joe Young, maybe he was only trying to communicate with the beasts through a series of barks. It wouldn’t have been a first for the San Diego Zoo: