IREDELL COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Mooresville father Frankie Colletti and his kids got quite the surprise at the Zootastic Park in Troutman Friday. During a visit to see all the animals, Colletti and his kids saw a gibbon get away from one of the handlers at the park.
Colletti said he and his kids had been looking at the gibbons in their enclosure just minutes before seeing one of them on the loose.
“Two minutes later we see this monkey running past us and I don’t know he seemed as happy as can be just running around,” said Colletti.
The father said he pulled out his phone and started recording the gibbon as it moved through the park with handlers chasing it. While seeing the animal outside of it’s enclosure was exciting, Colletti’s first instinct was to protect his children.
“Keep my kids away. Keep my kids away. Because you hear so many stories,” said Colletti.
He wanted a positive end to the story. He went from being concerned about the safety of his kids, to being concerned about the safety of the gibbon.
“We were all just worried about the tigers being right there and then the wolves being right next to it,” said Colletti about the gibbon’s location.
He said they watched the gibbon get safely captured prior to leaving. He thinks the staff at the Zootastic Park handled the situation well.
“They were very professional at Zootastic. I’ll tell you that right now,” said Colletti.
Adam Little, an employee at the park, told WBTV that the entire park is double-fenced and the gibbon never left park property. Little said the animal was corralled in about 15 minutes.