Bongo Escapes Enclosure at Sacramento Zoo

SACRAMENTO -- On a visit to the Sacramento Zoo most are focused on the animals behind the fences.

But Sunday, all eyes were on one animal that decided to get up close and personal with zoo visitors.

"I just heard a little commotion, the zookeeper yelling, 'Run, get away, leave,' very excitedly and, 'Go the opposite way,'" recalled zoo visitor Diana Louis.

Louis snapped a photograph as an eastern bongo walked toward her.

"I was just a little bit scared, you know what I mean?" Louis said.

The 1-year-old bongo, named Taylor Swift, escaped her enclosure.

Taylor is an eastern bongo, which are a large species of African antelope.

"Coming over the fence in some sort of manner, appears to be what occurred," said Director of Animal Care Matt McKim.

McKim thinks something scared Taylor, causing her to jump over the fence she was held behind. It reaches roughly 7 to 8 feet above the exhibit.

"Bongo, in particular, are incredible jumpers, incredible leapers," McKim said.

Zookeepers were able to get all of the visitors away from the area and into the safety of the gift shop while they herded Taylor back into her enclosure.

"I’m incredibly proud of the team and the emergency response yesterday," McKim said. "This whole incident was resolved in under 15 minutes."

He said employees were well prepared. After all, they train for events like this with yearly drills.

For now, Taylor, her mother and father are being kept in a cage behind the exhibit while the zoo works to decide whether they need to make their fence higher.

"Anytime you get your money’s worth at the zoo but I definitely did yesterday," Louis said.

FOX40 asked the zoo why the fence was not higher to begin with but they said they simply did not think bongos could jump high enough to get over it.

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