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Gorilla (Colo) 2006 0001 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.jpg
Gorilla (Colo) 2006 0001 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.jpg

A gorilla hurled an object at a pregnant woman in a 'freak' zoo accident


A pregnant woman was rushed to the hospital over the weekend after what New Orleans zoo officials are describing as a "freak accident" in which one of their female gorillas known as 'Praline' hurled an object at spectators, CBS News reported. The block struck 34-year-old Sylvia Cressy in the head as she attempted to flee the scene.

“Everybody started scattering, like running, so I tried to cover my face, then as I was turning around, the thing just hit my head,” she said. “The stick, the wood put a lump on my head.”

Cressy, who is six months pregnant, said she immediately felt the object's blow. 

“When it hit me, I kind of blanked out,” Cressy said. “It really took the wind out of me and I fell on my belly. As I regained consciousness, I was just worried about my baby.”

Known as an "enrichment tool," the block of wood thrown at Cressy is filled with honey and raisins for the gorillas to share.

“Our animals receive enrichment tools daily,” the Audubon Zoo said in the post. “Enrichment at AZA-accredited zoos across the country typically includes new food items, objects to manipulate, and activities designed to provide our animals with opportunities to express natural, species-appropriate behaviors, whether it be foraging, exploring, playing, or other activities.”

Since the incident. the zoo reportedly removed the wooden blocks from the gorilla enclosure as it continues an investigation of what happened. 

The Audubon Nature Institute also said it regrets the "unfortunate incident" but acknowledged that first responders attended to Cressy.

"We are working with Ms. Cressy to make sure she gets the medical care she needs," the zoo said in a statement.

Following the incident, Cressy said she spent six hours in two different hospitals. She said she was unsatisfied with the level of medical attention she received at the zoo, however.

“They did a report, they did my vitals, they didn’t offer to take me to the hospital or anything, they just told me where the nearest hospital was,” Cressy said.

“I’m still kind of shaken up,” Cressy continued. “I’m still experiencing pain in the back of my neck, where the lump is.”

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