Chimpanzees escape enclosure at Belfast Zoo using ‘improvised ladder’

Chimpanzees at Belfast Zoo have been filmed making an improvised ladder from a fallen branch in order to escape their enclosure.

Images shared on social media showed several animals on the wall of the enclosure yesterday afternoon.

One of the animals went for a walk about the zoo before going back to its own accord.

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.

Belfast Zoo’s Alan Cairns told BBC: “We think what has happened is that the trees in their enclosure have been weakened by the storms and so they’ve been able to break them and use them as a ladder to get out.

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

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

He said zoo officials will now ‘review’ the situation, but they do not want to remove the trees.

The incident is the second ‘escape attempt’ at the zoo recently, after a red panda went missing last month.

It was quickly found and returned to the zoo.

Belfast Zoo closed for several days in recent weeks for essential maintenance, with the rare closure dates extended due to ‘inclement weather’.

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