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DALLAS -A gorilla wandered away from her compound at the Dallas Zoo on Saturday.

Officials say the gorilla, named Tufani,was in an enclosed space and had no access to the public.

For more than an hour, zoo keepers worked to corner and eventually sedate the 19-year-old animal.

A SWAT team, armed with rifles big enough to bring the gorilla down, rushed to the zoo. No one was hurt.

Tufani weighs 200 lbs; she was transferred to Dallas from the Cincinnati Zoo in 2008.

She escaped from a gorilla dayroom which is inside a larger private building next to the exhibit.

She climbed on top of the cage but never left the actual building.

She was nervous, said Lynn Kramer, the zoo s deputy director of animal conservation and science. She wanted to get in her cage with her mate, and was looking for a way back in.

She was several doors away from ever being able to go outside, said zoo executive director, Gregg Hudson.

Hudson said employees put the zoo s emergency plan into action and quickly resolved the situation.

It s a great example of how an emergency response team should work, he said.

But nonetheless, there were tense moments for workers' relatives,some of whom waitedoutside.

That's our mother and we want to be here for her, said Marco Vara, an employee s son, who waited on a nearby roof.

The zoo was closed to the public on Saturday because of clear-up work that needed to be done followingthe snow. The zoo will remain closed on Sunday but officials say they hope to re-open on Monday.

Back in 2004, SWAT team officers felled a rampaging 300-pound gorilla at the Dallas Zoo, whocollapsed on the abandoned sandals of fleeing children.

Jabari, the 13-year-old western lowland gorilla, escaped from his 2-acre enclosure at the zoo, and attacked several people before charging at police officers, who fired three shots.

The gorilla bit a 26-year-old mother and her 3-year-old son several times and threw them against a wall. Zoo officials said Jabari had scaled a 16-foot concave wall.

Changes were made at the zoo after Jabari's escape. The zoo stays in command, unless people are in danger. That is when police take over.

Police patrol officers are trained with special rifles to shoot an animal, if it poses a threat, and the zoo bought more tranquilizer guns.

The gorilla exhibit was closed for two years following the incident and underwent a $2.5 million makeover.

A 25-year-old zookeeper was mauled by a gorilla at the Dallas Zoo in November 1998 after the door to the animal's cage was left open.

Hercules, a 340-pound male silverback gorilla, was tranquilized with a dart gun after the woman escaped. The attack lasted more than a half-hour, leaving her with more than 30 puncture wounds. In that attack, zoo guests were not in jeopardy.

Dallas Morning News contributed to this report.

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