Terrifying moment zookeepers become trapped in enclosure with silverback gorilla

Families were left shocked during a day out at the zoo, as a terrifying ordeal unfolded in the gorilla enclosure when a silverback chased two zookeepers.
Now, going to the zoo should be a fun day out to hopefully learn something about the incredible wildlife that you don't usually get the chance to encounter on a day-to-day basis.

It's also a great way to see some of the planet's most dominant, powerful, and dangerous creatures up close - without being in any danger yourself. And that should be the case for zookeepers too.

However, a terrifying incident recently unfolded at the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas, which saw visitors watch on in horror as a zookeeper found herself face-to-face with a huge silverback gorilla.

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In a TikTok clip shared online, one of the zoo workers can be seen frantically trying to outmaneuver the 34-year-old silverback named Elmo hot on her heels.

The angry gorilla charged at one of the employees, knocking over a bin of food in a display of dominance.

Check out the terrifying moment below:

The employee, presumably fearing for her life, took shelter behind a door and then had a nervous standoff with Elmo who seemed to have calmed.

The standoff didn't end there. A second employee found herself in a tense confrontation with the gorilla, taking cover behind a tree before the gorilla eventually backed down, allowing her to join her colleague behind the safety of a closed door.

The incident, which occurred in October, was captured by visitors to the Texas facility, who watched in horror as the women attempted to flee.

"Oh my gosh. God help her, God help her, God help her," one woman can be heard saying.

According to the zoo, the mishap was attributed to a procedural oversight. "Every day, the zookeepers shift the gorilla troop into their indoor habitat so that keepers can place the animals’ lunch in their outdoor habitat," a spokesperson explained, per the Daily Mail. "Due to keeper error, staff entered the yard unaware that the silverback was still in its habitat."

Elmo, the 34-year-old male silverback, was reportedly startled by the unexpected presence of the staff members.

"The zookeepers work with and train these animals every day and thanks to their knowledge and expertise, they navigated the situation calmly and were able to exit the yard safely," the spokesperson concluded.

Elmo, originally from the Buffalo Zoo, has been a prominent figure in the Fort Worth Zoo since his arrival a few years ago.

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Described as an "awesome silverback," Elmo has been busy teaching his offspring the ropes, including his son Gus and, more recently, his newborn daughter, Jameela.

People offered their reactions in the comment section of the video, with one person saying: "The Silverback did a great job of staying calm & giving the zookeepers space to leave. While also letting them know to leave."

A second added: "He knew they fed him and took care of him. Animals are so smart. He was just wondering why she was there. He was a good boy!"

Others drew comparisons to the incident on May 28, 2016 - when the gorilla Harambe was shot and killed after a young boy fell into his enclosure.

Luckily, Elmo and the zookeepers were able to navigate this situation without anybody getting hurt.

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