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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 9 July, 2020

Chimpanzees escape Belfast Zoo enclosure using snapped tree branch

One chimp wandered across a pathway where visitors to the zoo were standing.

CHIMPANZEES AT BELFAST Zoo escaped from their enclosure using a branch that broke due to high winds caused by Storm Erik.

Footage obtained by the BBC shows chimpanzees climbing up a branch that is leaning against the enclosure wall. In the video, a child can be heard exclaiming: “Don’t escape you bad little gorilla!”

One chimp then wandered across a pathway where visitors were.

Belfast Zoo manager Alyn Cairns told the BBC it was thought that trees in their enclosure had been weakened by the storms making them easier to break up.

He said the zoo’s chimps went back into their enclosure themselves during the incident. He said that they would review the incident, although they like to keep the animals’ enclosures as natural as possible, and so would like to keep trees there.

It’s the second time an animal has escaped the zoo in recent times, after a red panda went missing on 28 January (it was found later that morning).

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