Chimps escape at the Kansas City Zoo

ChimpanzeeIn an amazing display of the great apes ingenuity, 7 chimps breached the walls of their enclosure at the Kansas City Zoo on Thursday afternoon.

At about 4pm a chimp broke a 5ft limb off a tree or utilised one within the enclosure. The chimpanzee then pushed this up against the wall of his enclosure. He then proceeded to the top before enticing 6 friends up to join him. Zoo director ,Randy Wisthoff said ‘chimps are so smart’. The largest chimp of the group of escapees weighed 150kgs. Wisthoff added that “They are tremendously strong.”

At this point the zoo went into a ‘Code Red’ lockdown. This lockdown saw the remaining visitors who were in the zoo gathered into secure areas by zoo staff. These areas included bird cages, the penguin enclosure and even staff areas. The people who had to spend their time in these areas were given free zoo passes to use across the next year. Wisthoff emphasised that at no point were zoo visitors in any danger.

When 3 of the chimps jumped over the wall they landed in a behind the scenes are of the zoo. Here they were quickly surrounded by staff in enclosed vehicles. After a 1and a ½ hour standoff staff lured the chimps back into their enclosures.

All they needed was a bribe. Most of the chimps were happy to return to their enclosure for carrots, lettuce and celery. One though needed a bit more persuasion which is when zookeepers brought out some malted milk balls.

The zoos 3 acre chimp enclosure currently houses 12 of these apes. This enclosure was closed on Friday for keepers to search for equipment which the chimps may have been able to use to breach the walls again.

The Kansas City Police Department saw a humorous side to the escape though. They tweeted a video of the chimp they once recaptured. The video showed a 300 pound chimp who attacked a police car. This chimp was soon recaptured unharmed.

You can check out the video of that chimp and the zoo escape below.


By Cale Russell is a testament to Cale’s commitment to the education of people around the world on the topic of animals and conservation, through the sharing of topical and newsworthy information.

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