LONDON (AP/Gray News) — Zookeepers say a group of chimpanzees used branches weakened by a storm to make a ladder and escape from their enclosure at the Belfast Zoo.
Video filmed Saturday by visitors to the Northern Ireland zoo showed several primates scaling a wall and perching atop it, with one walking down a path outside the enclosure.
Zookeeper Alyn Cairns said trees in the chimps' enclosure had been weakened by recent storms, allowing the animals to break them and fashion a ladder to escape. 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."
Thankfully, no one was injured. According to the BCC, a couple of the chimps were on the pathways with visitors to the zoo.
Tourists from Hollywood filmed the escape from start to finish, and one of the escapees ended up a couple of feet a way from them.
“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,” Danielle Monaghan told BBC News NI.
Two weeks ago, a rare red panda escaped from the same zoo when its electric fences failed. The animal was recaptured in the driveway of a nearby house.