by Kevin MarshallMarch 14, 2013 at 12:00AM
The new SPIKE original series Urban Tarzan will follow famed animal wrangler and former Steve Irwin associate URBANTARZAN as he rescues escaped animals from various locales, including but not limited to grocery stores and city streets.
It's not nearly as uncommon as you think. Here are some of the more memorable animal escapes - some endearing, some heartbreaking - that have occurred over the last several years.
And be sure to tune in to the series premiere of Urban Tarzan this Tuesday, March 19 at 10:30/9:30c on SPIKE.
In Ketchikan, Alaska, a black bear cub orphaned from its mother literally walked right into a grocery store throught the front door and made quite a mess. Thousands of dollars of produce was lost when the creature got into the cooler and panicked.
In a hilarious bit of miscommunication, the store's meat department manager thought he overheard that there was a bird loose in the store. When he arrived, he found instead a wild bear cub that was just a little too big for the flimsy butterfly net he'd brought with him.
AWW, POOR BABY
A 2.5 ton elephant ironically named "Baby" escaped and went on a shopping spree in a retail park in County Cork, Ireland.
All told, the incident only lasted somewhere between three and five minutes. It caused quite a commotion, but thankfully nobody was hurt and the elephant was brought back to the circus.
Cited as the reason it ran away? Baby didn't want to take a shower. I think we've all had those days.
Here's an example of how exotic animal escapes can be catastrophic not just for the animal, but an entire ecosystem. A collection of rhesus monkeys were brought to Puerto Rico in 1938 for the purposes of observation and research. They were originally restricted to the island of Cayo Santiago, also known as "Monkey Island."
Over the course of several decades, they escaped and spread throughout Puerto Rico, even reaching the city's capital of San Juan. They thrived in part because they're not native to the island, and as such didn't have any predators after them. In recent year's it's become a major public health concern, as well as a real headache for farmers whose crops are ruined by the curious monkeys.
ZOOBREAK IN ZANESVILLE
A man who owned a private zoo in Zanesville, Ohio, committed suicide in October of 2011. Unfortunately, before doing so he also set loose fifty-one of the wild creatures he owned, ranging from monkeys to three hundred pound bengal tigers.
Unfortunately, the story gets sadder. Authorities were not equipped or prepared for such an outbreak (how could they be?), and so they were forced to kill those animals they weren't able to capture or tranquilize. Non-lethal efforts were made even more difficult by the fact that the escape occurred so late in the day. All but five of the animals ended up dead.
ESCAPED COBRA! J/K
Ophidiophobes weren't the only ones concerned when the Bronx Zoo announced that a deadly, poisonous cobra had escaped and was somewhere in the city. After five days, the zoo located the deadly snake and lured it from its hiding spot. As it turns out, it had been in the reptile exhibit all along.
This marked one of the first times a news story inspired a popular twitter account, with someone creating the handle @BronxZoosCobra to help distract residents from the fear of finding a deadly predator in their apartment. The account is often credited as the start of the phenomena of natural disasters and props from political moments getting their own twitter parody accounts. The twitter handler him/herself acknowledged as much just last month, when it tweeted "I want to formally apologize for any role I might have played in encouraging Twitter accts about Marco Rubio's water, Russian meteors, etc." The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
BUFFALO ROAM: ...THE TENNIS COURT?
In 2005, a herd of Buffalo escaped from a farm in Maryland and decided to recreate their glory days out West with a jaunt through Pikesville, a suburb of Baltimore. Local police and county sheriffs were willing to roleplay with the buffalo, acting as cowboys themselves. They were able to herd them into a local apartment complex's tennis court before being shuttled off in a trainer.
ESCAPED PEACOCK DOESN'T QUITE MAKE IT TO TIMES SQUARE, ISN'T MISSING MUCH
A gorgeous peacock from the Central Park Zoo escaped and did what any tourist does in New York: headed right for fifth avenue. That peacock was like "girl, there's a sale on!" Unfortunately it went home empty handed, but not before going apartment hunting in a high-rise. Yeah, good luck with the rent in that part of the city.
timothy treadwell, jim belushi, ace ventura, wild animals, urban tarzan, best friends, animals