A chimpanzee sparked panic at a Taiwanese zoo after escaping only to look inside its enclosure and head back in to get away from the human visitors.
Sally, aged 35, escaped her display area and stunned tourists in the African Animal Area of the Taipei Zoo.
Visitors who tried to keep their distance from the chimp said the drama reminded them of the popular sci-fi series ‘Planet of the Apes’ – in which primates revolt and ultimately overthrow mankind.
Staff members at the zoo were alerted to the primate’s escape and rushed over to shuffle tourists away from Sally, who can be seen in videos wandering around the outer wall of the enclosure.
Wu Yi-hsin, a spokeswoman for the Taipei Zoo, said security staff and the resident veterinarian approached Sally, and she climbed back into her display area after half an hour on the loose.
The spokeswoman said Sally, who lowered herself from an extended tree branch, appeared to realise ‘it was safer to go home’ when the employees tried to head her off.
No tourists were injured and Sally did not appear to suffer any injuries during her attempt to gain freedom, Wu added, saying that she and the zoo’s eight other chimps were quickly moved to their indoor enclosures.
A chimpanzee sparked panic at a Taiwanese zoo after escaping only to look inside its enclosure and head back in to get away from the human visitors
Sally, aged 35, escaped her display area and stunned tourists in the African Animal Area of the Taipei Zoo
The display area for the chimps is now being inspected, which means tourists will be unable to see the animals for at least the next few days or weeks.
The Taipei Zoo has promised to make changes to the chimp display area so a similar incident does not happen again.
Sally was brought to the Taipei Zoo in 1987. At 35 years old, her age is equal to about 87 human years.
This was the third time the Taipei Zoo had experienced an animal escape since 2015
This was the third time the Taipei Zoo had experienced an animal escape since 2015 when, in June, its Bengal tiger called Da Tou leapt out of its enclosure and had to be surrounded by shield-wielding staff members who eventually tranquillised it.
Just a month later Asian black bear called Xiao Xiong climbed out of its home and mauled an employee – leaving him in critical care – before being sedated.