Chimps used fallen log to escape at KC Zoo

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Seven chimpanzees are back inside their enclosure at the Kansas City Zoo after climbing a fallen log to the top of a wall.
Zoo director Randy Wisthoff says visitors were never in danger during the incident Thursday afternoon because the chimps did not reach any public areas. Keepers used food to entice them back into their building. Wisthoff said a ringleader was the first to climb the fallen tree. A half-dozen others followed, and two or three dropped over the wall into a surrounding enclosure.  he last of the chimps was seen strolling the top of the inner wall for several minutes before heading back inside.Wisthoff said the chimps won’t be on exhibit Friday while crews inspect trees around their enclosure.

Wisthoff posted this statement on the zoo’s Facebook page Thursday evening.

Around 4:00pm this afternoon the Zoo entered into a “Code Red” situation. One of our chimpanzees was able to break roughly a six foot tree limb that was then used as a ladder to climb on top of the outdoor enclosure wall. That chimp then enticed six other chimps to join the first chimp. The chimps never left Zoo grounds, nor did they ever leave the immediate exhibit area. Zoo staff responded quickly and professionally creating a perimeter around the chimps using enclosed vehicles. Eventually the chimps were lured back in to their holding building with various food treats. Within roughly 1 ½ hours all chimps were safely secured inside their holding building and the “Code Red” was pronounced all clear.

During this time, several guests were held in various Zoo buildings to ensure their safety. The Zoo’s first and foremost concern is for the wellbeing of our guests, employees as well as the animals.

The chimp exhibit will be closed tomorrow to allow Zoo staff to thoroughly examine the entire exhibit and to check for any additional tree limbs that could quite possibly create any issues.

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