Image Credit: Supplied

Cairo: Panic gripped residents of Riyadh after online reports claimed that a gorilla had escaped from a cage on Friday and roamed the Saudi capital’s streets.

Pictures and footage online went viral, purportedly showing the animal walking unobstructed on an almost empty street.

One video clip showed the gorilla being followed by curious bystanders as it squats quietly. One of them offers it a banana. In another clip, the animal is seen perched on the gate of a villa, apparently for protection from the sun.

The authenticity of the video could not be independently verified.

Some Twitter users claimed the gorilla had been seen strolling for about 30 minutes in northern Riyadh before security authorities caught it.

There was no immediate official comment. No damage was reported.