Visitors at the Safari Park were shocked to see a random dog inside the gorilla enclosure at the Safari Park on June 12 and quickly got the attention of Park officials who got to work making sure the dog was safe. Zoo staff recalled the gorillas away from the dog and officers with the San Diego Humane Society were able to leash the shepherd, who they affectionately named Mighty Joe Young, and get him to safety.
"The dog was very easy, sweet, a nice dog. Very easy to leash," said SDHS officer Samantha Clark. "He was incredibly lucky that he did not get any injuries from his encounter."
Officers found that the dog was in good condition, with the exception of several ticks, but didn't have a microchip and set to work trying to find his owner. According to Humane Society, the dog's owner came forward and will be able to take him home after the dog, whose name is actually Meatball, is schedule for neuter surgery, the news outlet reports.
"Mighty Joe Young (who we now know is named Meatball) is returning home to his loving family," SDHS said in a tweet on Monday (June 21), sharing footage from Meatball's adventures at the Safari Park and with SDHS officers.
The tweet continued, "We're thrilled to be able to reunite him with his owners, and have helped them take measures to prevent this curious dog from going on any more solo adventures!"