Chimps Build Ladder From Branches to Escape Zoo

Chimpanzees using a tree branch

Visitor Danielle Monaghan, who witnessed the chimps escape, said she was anxious about safety.

Another video shared to Monaghan's page shows one of the animals sauntering across a path following its successful breakout.

"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. This tracks, as I can't imagine I'd very much enjoy being screamed at by a odd child either.

Visitors to Belfast Zoo were left "petrified" after a chimpanzee escaped from their enclosure, using a branch as an improvised ladder.

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.

"We would like to reassure the public that Belfast Zoo is fully committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all our visitors", she said.

"They're intelligent primates and know they're not supposed to be out of their enclosure, so got back in themselves". "We just walked past it and it was absolutely grand".

Alliance councillor Nuala McAllister said: "I have contacted Belfast City Council to ask for an urgent review into the containment of animals, with a particular focus on safety measures after extreme bad weather conditions, as we saw at the weekend and which helped create the conditions for this escape".

Monaghan captured film of the encounter and said she would "never forget" how the "smart" chimpanzees escaped the enclosure.

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

"We like things to be natural in their enclosure, to have trees in it, but we will review it", he added.

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

Red pandas are an endangered species slightly larger than a domestic cat.

But he said that zoo staff were concerned.

"Our maintenance team were informed at the earliest opportunity and the fence has since been repaired", Cairns said.

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