Have you ever wondered how or why animals in zoos stay put? Perhaps you’ve looked at the various enclosures and imagined ways that the animals could escape. If so, you’re not alone. It appears that a group of chimpanzees at a zoo in Belfast, Ireland were wondering the very same thing.

Thanks to a recent storm, things had changed in the chimpanzee enclosure. It didn’t take long for the chimps to make use of the storm damage and attempt to make a break for it. According to Zookeeper Alyn Cairns, the chimps broke branches off trees that had been damaged in the storm and then used the broken branches as a makeshift ladder to scale the high walls surrounding their enclosure.

Visitors to the zoo not only witnessed the escape, some even caught it on film:

Witnesses reported that some of the escaped chimps found their way onto a path while others simply sat atop their enclosure wall, seemingly to enjoy the view.

Cairns remarked of the escape:

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

Belfast city council, which operates the local zoo, assured area residents that “zookeepers were present as the chimpanzee quickly returned from an adjacent wall to the rest of the group inside the enclosure.”

Witnesses to the escape told the BCC that the experience was “absolutely grand.”

It turns out this wasn’t the only escape to be staged by inhabitants of the Belfast zoo this year. A red panda cub named Amber escaped from her enclosure in January and was found in a garden about a mile from the zoo.


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