A pretty smart chimpanzee escaped its enclosure at the Kansas City Zoo Thursday, and others followed, forcing the visitors and staff to “hole up” until they were rounded up and put back into their cages.
After the leader, a big chimp that weighs around 150 pounds, used a six-foot-long log as a ladder, he escaped his cage (some consider it his prison, otherwise why would it be called an “escape”) and six others followed.
Randy Wisthoff, CEO and executive director of the Kansas City Zoo, said seven chimps got up on the tall cement wall surrounding their enclosure, three got down on the other side to where they call the keeper side and the other four stayed up on the wall and never came down.
“We go out and walk the exhibit every day, looking for things like that. Our problem becomes, chimps are so much stronger than humans that they can go up in a tree and pull on something long enough to pull a piece of log off, which is apparently what happened.”
The escape prompted a “Code Red” situation, zoo officials told ABC News.
Kansas City Zoo spokeswoman Julie Neemeyer said in a statement. “The chimps never left Zoo grounds, nor did they ever leave the immediate exhibit area.”
“Zoo staff responded quickly and professionally creating a perimeter around the chimps using enclosed vehicles. Eventually the chimps were lured back in to their holding building with various food treats,” Neemeyer said. “Within roughly 1 1/2 hours all chimps were safely secured inside their holding building and the ‘Code Red’ was pronounced all clear.”
During this time, several guests were held in various zoo buildings to ensure their safety, Neemeyer said. “The Zoo’s first and foremost concern is for the wellbeing of our guests, employees as well as the animals.”
The chimp exhibit will be closed today to allow staff to examine the entire exhibit and “to check for any additional tree limbs that could quite possibly create any issues,” Neemeyer said.
It might be entertaining to go to the zoo and be close to wild animals such as chimpanzees – however, keeping them caged and not in their natural (wild) habitat is unethical. What do you think?
Image via YouTube