Austrian police have caught a man in a gorilla suit who was terrorising elderly hikers by leaping out of bushes and then running off.

Police, who recieved dozens of complaints, said they were convinced the gorilla sightings were a hoax.

But they set up a special rapid response squad armed with tracker dogs and tranquilizer darts just in case.

The gorilla-suited prankster was netted when he made his latest appearance near the towns of St. Margarethen, Rust and Oggau in Austria.

The 25-year-old, a local man who was arrested without the aid of the tranq guns, said that the place was so boring he wanted to give people something to talk about.

He apologised for the distress he caused his victims and was released on bail after agreeing to hand over the gorilla suit.