Dallas To Settle With Gorilla Rampage Victims

The Dallas Zoo patrons injured when a gorilla escaped from his exhibit are set to receive a $500,000 settlement from the city.

Jabari, a 300-pound western lowland gorilla, attacked four Dallas Zoo visitors during a 40-minute rampage in 2004. He bit at least two of the victims. The attack ended when the gorilla charged two Dallas police officers who shot and killed him.
The family members of two victims filed a lawsuit against the city seeking compensation for their bodily injuries.

One of the victims, Cheryl Reichert, said Tuesday that she's happy to have the legal battle behind her, but argued the money will never be enough to compensate the families for what happened.

Reichert still has scars on her arms from where the gorilla bit her repeatedly in front of her three children.

"He just grabbed me picked me up by both arms and shook me like I was nothing," Reichert said.  "Then he slammed me down, took my arm and just started biting my arm.  He bit the same area over and over again."

Reichert said she continues to have nightmares about the attack. She said her children thought she was going to die; and two of them still suffer from post traumatic stress and require on-going counseling.

The $500,000 settlement was the maximum possible under a state law that caps lawsuits against cities. The victim's families will share the cash payment, which will come from the city's current operating budget.

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