'Gorilla' sends grandma bananas

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 August, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 August, 2003, 12:00am

A 'gorilla' was detained by police in Central yesterday after it snatched a bunch of bananas from an elderly woman's fruit shop, sparking a bizarre chase that ended with the woman collapsing and being rushed to hospital.

Grandmother Tse Lai was taken to Queen Mary Hospital after the 'gorilla' - a man in costume as part of a film crew making a light-hearted TV show - pounced on a banana display at the Gage Street shop.

The shocked shop owner responded by hitting out at the beast with a broom before chasing it from the shop and collapsing.

Witnesses said Mrs Tse managed to hit the gorilla twice on the head before fainting.

Her husband, Lo Sum, 90, was stunned into silence but a neighbour called the police.

Mrs Tse later said: 'I didn't realise that it was a gorilla at first. All I saw was something big and black with a lot of hair. I thought I saw a ghost so I tried to drive it away with a broom. But when I realised it was a gorilla I collapsed.'

Mrs Tse was treated for shock before being allowed to go home.

The gorilla and members of the film crew were taken to Central Police Station for questioning.

A police spokesman said legal advice would be sought over whether action could be taken against the gorilla for being a nuisance in a public place.

The gorilla, an expatriate who speaks Cantonese, refused to be identified, but said he would send a bouquet of flowers to Mrs Tse.

The crew claimed to be from 'Chi Seen' [crazy] Company producing candid camera material for cable television stations in Asia.