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Dutch woman still likes gorilla despite attack

A 57-year-old Dutch woman who was attacked by a 400-pound gorilla at a Rotterdam zoo said the ape was still her favorite even though she felt she was going to die when he bit her.
/ Source: msnbc.com news services

A 57-year-old Dutch woman who was attacked by a 400-pound gorilla at a Rotterdam zoo said the ape was still her favorite even though she felt she was going to die when he bit her.

“I go to the zoo almost every day with my husband, and we’re always going to see Bokito. I even have pictures and videos from Berlin when he was only 4 months old,” the woman told Dutch mass-circulation daily Telegraaf.

“He is and remains my darling,” the paper quoted the woman as saying from her hospital bed, where she is being treated for bite wounds and a broken arm and wrist.

The 11-year-old male gorilla burst out of its enclosure on Friday and went on a rampage in the zoo’s cafeteria before being recaptured.

** EDS NOTE DELETES REFERENCE TO "SILVERBACK" ** People grab their children to take them to safety as escaped gorilla Bokito is seen, right, partially obscured by a plant, at Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Friday May 18, 2007. A gorilla escaped from an enclosure and injured two people Friday at a Rotterdam zoo, a police spokeswoman said. The Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo was evacuated and the gorilla was believed to have entered a building where he was being isolated, spokeswoman Yvette de Rave said. (AP Photo/Fam Schaar via Foto Roel Dijkstra) ** NETHERLANDS OUT **Fam Schaar Via Foto Roel Dijkstr / AP

“I stood by the small apes in the Africa section when I heard a thud behind me. I turned around and there was Bokito. I had nowhere to go. He gripped me, sat on me with his full weight and began biting me,” the woman told the Telegraaf.

“I could only think, ‘Oh God, I’m going to die, I’m going to die.’”

The Telegraaf said people had since come from across the country to Rotterdam Zoo to see the gorilla.

Three other people received minor injuries in the panic that broke out among zoo visitors.

Dutch media reported that Bokito also escaped from his enclosure at Berlin’s zoo in 2004 before he was moved to Rotterdam.