Chimps use branch downed by storm to make ladder, escape Belfast Zoo

A chimpanzee eats fresh fruits at Rome’s Bioparco zoo on Aug. 4 2016

One chimp jumped out and walked along a path with members of the public, while others sat on a wall above the enclosure and watched.

"Where's mum?" the child asks.

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

They were at the zoo with Ms Monaghan's children, Grace (8) and Leo (6), and Mr McFaul's four-year-old nieces, Summer and Willow.

Footage on social media showed the animals using a branch felled by Storm Erik to scale the wall of their enclosure.

Other chimpanzees were filmed sitting atop the walls.

She said that she was "petrified" when one of the chimps climbed out of the enclosure and started walking around it.

She said she was "scared" but called it an "amazing" experience and said the chimp appeared to be "very calm".

She said she was happy the incident had ended well for her family.

"It may have been a different story if it had been aggressive but it absolutely wasn't".

Chimpanzees escape Belfast Zoo enclosure using tree branch 'ladder'
Chimps use branch as ladder to escape Belfast zoo enclosure

Mr Cairns added that the enclosure now trees to make it feel more natural for the chimps. "We just walked past it and it was absolutely grand".

Zookeepers argued that the zoo enclosure had been weakened by a recent storm, allowing the chimps to escape.

Cairns added that the zoo's chimpanzees were "quite cowardly" and after some time headed back into the safety of their enclosure all on their own.

He said: "They're intelligent primates and know they're not supposed to be out of their enclosure, so got back in themselves".

This is the second escape attempt by animals at the zoo in as many months.

He said zoo officials will now "review" the situation, but they don't want to remove the trees.

He added that once they were safely contained, the chimps were locked into an inner enclosure.

Just two weeks ago a rare, red panda also escaped from Belfast Zoo when its electric fences failed.

It was quickly found and returned to the zoo.

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