KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Everything’s back to normal at the Kansas City Zoo after seven chimpanzees escaped their enclosure Thursday afternoon around 3:30.
Zoo officials said the ring leader during Thursday’s escape pulled down a large tree branch and propped it against the wall of the exhibit. He then encouraged six of his chimp friends to partake in some monkey business, climbing the wall and getting free.
Zoo officials said only three of the seven chimps actually climbed over the wall exhibit and entered the zoo keeper’s area. They added that at no time were any of the chimps running loose in public areas.
However, as a safety precaution, the zoo still issued a code red, which meant the public was ushered into locked buildings. Zoo keepers in the Africa area stayed in locked cars while zoo personnel inside the chimp holding area lured the chimps back in — using malted milk balls.
About 30 patrons waited for about an hour, listening to updates via zoo personnel radios before given the all-clear.
“This is a learning experience for my children to make sure they stay away from wild animals,” one woman said. “A very, very healthy experience.”
Around 5:30 zoo officials began to slowly let people leave. No person or animal sustained any injuries.
The chimps will not be out playing on Friday. Instead, zoo keepers will be walking the entire space checking for loose or downed branches to prevent any monkey business from happening again.
Pictured below zoo patrons wait for the all-clear while under lockdown.