Chimps' great escape at Belfast Zoo shortlived

Evarado Alatorre
Febrero 10, 2019

CHIMPANZEES at Belfast Zoo managed to escape their enclosure yesterday after using a fallen branch as a makeshift ladder.

While some of the chimpanzees stayed on top of the wall, another chose to explore the grounds.

"They're intelligent primates and know they're not supposed to be out of their enclosure, so got back in themselves".

She said they "could not believe it" when the "smart" chimpanzees started to climb out of the enclosure, and when they went to take a closer look, they ended up "a foot" away from one of them.

Danielle Monaghan said she was "petrified" the chimp might "attack or take the kids".

'I was petrified, obviously, having the kids and I tried not to show fear but inside I was a bit like what happens if it attacks us or tries to take the kids or runs over, ' she told BBC News NI.

"It may have been a different story if it had been aggressive but it absolutely wasn't. We just walked past it and it was absolutely grand".

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Further footage showed the chimpanzee cross the pathway and sitting on the edge of the wooded area as people filmed it.

Two weeks ago a rare red panda escaped from the same zoo when its electric fences failed.

In November past year, a snow leopard was shot dead after the animal escaped from its enclosure in Dudley Zoo in Britain.

A Belfast City Council spokesperson said that one chimpanzee left the enclosure before quickly returning. "Had it been me I'd have run for the hills".

He said the zoo's chimps were "quite cowardly" so went back into their enclosure themselves during the incident.

Mr Cairns told the British broadcaster that the zoo will review the design of the enclosure, and may have to remove the trees, although they do not want to do so.

The chimpanzees were locked into their inner enclosure after the great escape.

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