Chimps At Belfast Zoo Escape Enclosure Using Ladder They Made Themselves

Leroy Wright
February 12, 2019

A group of chimpanzees used tree branches to break out of their enclosure at a zoo in Northern Ireland on Saturday.

In footage posted on social media, a child can be heard exclaiming: "Don't escape you bad little gorilla".

Zookeepers argued that the zoo enclosure had been weakened by a recent storm, allowing the chimps to escape.

" at the chimpanzee, it did indeed leave the enclosure, whereupon it encountered zoogoer Chantal Baxter, who told the BBC that the chimp "just appeared from behind a bush".

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

Last June, two lions, two tigers and a jaguar escaped their enclosures in a flooded German zoo for several hours.

Danielle Monaghan, who was visiting the zoo with her two children, her partner and his young nieces, was anxious about the safety of the visitors.

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Families attending the zoo said they were shocked and scared to see the chimpanzee on a path outside its enclosures, but ultimately it wasn't aggressive.

"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", zoo guest Danielle Monaghan told the BBC.

Belfast Zoo said Saturday's incident was "highly unusual".

Mr Cairns added that the enclosure now trees to make it feel more natural for the chimps.

In January, a red panda called Amber went missing from the zoo overnight before being discovered in a nearby garden. "We just walked past it and it was absolutely grand".

"The council has a duty of care around the welfare of animals at the zoo but we also need to ensure the safety at all times of the public". Cairns said the zoo would reconsider the layout of the chimpanzee enclosure.

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

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