Saturday, 12 April 2014 | MYT 7:10 PM

Ape escape! Kansas zoo chimps make a break for freedom

Seven chimpanzees used an improvised ladder from a tree to scale a wall and briefly escape their enclosure at the Kansas City Zoo on Thursday, a zoo official said.

One of the chimps apparently pulled a log or a branch and leaned it against the wall of the enclosure, giving the primates a leg-up to the top, zoo director Randy Wisthoff said.

Primate business: Two still images captured from a video footage of the apes' ingenious attempt to break free from their Kansas City Zoo enclosure. Here, one of the chimps is perched along the fence separating their enclosure from the outside world. Maybe it just wanted a change of scenery. 

The animals did not have any contact with zoo visitors, as they escaped into an area reserved for zookeepers, he added. There are 12 chimps in total at the zoo, which was closed after the incident.

“They had a ringleader,” Wisthoff said. “He got up on the log and got some others to join him.” 

The chimps' escape scenario eerily resembled the plot of fictional Hollywood movie Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, in which a bio-engineered chimp called Caesar rebelled against his human captors to start an ape revolution to take over the world. 

Alas, this was no precursor to a 'chimpocalypse' event. Using food as enticement, the zookeepers herded the wayward chimps back into an indoor enclosure. The chimps were on the loose for around an hour.

Wisthoff said zoo staff regularly checks trees in the area of the chimpanzees for fallen limbs but in this case a chimp apparently pulled a log or large limb out of a tree.

“Chimps are so much stronger than humans,” Wisthoff said, adding that they are also very smart. – Reuters

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle , Features , Animal , Funny , chimpanzee , chimp , Kansas City Zoo , escape , freedom


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