Chimps Build Ladder From Branches to Escape Zoo

Lester Mason
February 11, 2019

Visitors to Belfast Zoo were left "petrified" after a chimpanzee escaped from their enclosure, using a branch as an improvised ladder.

Video posted to Facebook shows chimpanzees climbing a tree branch, which conveniently fell against the enclosure wall, before jumping and catching the lip of the concrete wall.

The animal enjoyed a casual stroll around the grounds as visitors filmed its unexpected excursion.

"I think she scared it and it did sort of make its way back up the hill", said Baxter.

It is thought the trees in the chimps' enclosure had been weakened by recent storms, making them easier to break up.

Ms Monaghan later told BBC she was "petrified" at seeing the chimps escape.

"It may have been a different story if it had been aggressive but it absolutely wasn't".

Though as the BBC noted separately Sunday, the incident is the second breakout the zoo has seen this year after an endangered red panda got out of its pen in January due to an apparent electrical failure. "We just walked past it and it was absolutely grand".

"They started walking out of the hut one by one, it was like they organised what they were going to do", he said.

Belfast City Council, which runs the zoo, said: "Zookeepers were present as the chimpanzee quickly returned from an adjacent wall to the rest of the group inside the enclosure".

Cairns added that the zoo's chimpanzees were "quite cowardly" and after some time headed back into the safety of their enclosure all on their own.

Alliance councillor Nuala McAllister said: "I have contacted Belfast City Council to ask for an urgent review into the containment of animals, with a particular focus on safety measures after extreme bad weather conditions, as we saw at the weekend and which helped create the conditions for this escape".

He added that once they were safely contained, the chimps were locked into an inner enclosure.

"We may have to remove the trees or make them a smaller level, although we don't want to do that".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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