Seven chimpanzees at the Kansas City Zoo made headlines after getting out of their enclosure using a ladder they fashioned from a tree branch. And while that easily ranks among the most ingenious zoo breakouts, they’re certainly not the first animal escape-artists to succeed in their bid for freedom.
1. Wild tiger tries out zoo life, escapes weeks later
Staff at the Nandankanan Zoo in India hadn’t been planning on adding any more animals to their big cat exhibit, but when a young wild tiger wandered out of the jungle and onto the grounds of the facility, looking for a bit of romance with their captive tigress, they didn’t hesitate to invite him in. Over the next few weeks, the tiger seemed to settle in quite nicely, enjoying carefree days of free food and naps in the shade – though zoo life it did eventually lose its luster. About a month after wandering into the zoo, the wild tiger decided that captive life just wasn’t for him. Keepers coming to check on their new arrival one day discovered that the animal had somehow managed to loose himself, scaling a 20-foot security wall to return back into the forest from whence he came. A camera within the enclosure was there to record the remarkable incident, but the cat evidently severed its wiring before making a break for it.
2. Boar and fox aid captive kangaroo’s escape
Sometimes, escaping captivity takes a team effort – as in the case with one kangaroo in Germany who escaped a wildlife park with the help of an interspecies collaboration. Officials at the park say the animal was able to make a break for freedom by slipping through holes in two separate barricades that were keeping it in. Evidently, a fox had dug a passageway underneath the kangaroos enclosure fence large enough for it to squeeze through, but that only got the animal so far. Fortunately, a boar had done the same, creating a crucial hole beneath the park’s main exterior wall — also big enough for the freedom-loving kangaroo to find a way through.
3. Orangutan breaks out three times, teaches others how to do it too
No discussion of impressive zoo escapes would be complete without mention of the most famous animal escape artist in history. In the 1980s, a Bornean orangutan named Ken Allen held captive at the San Diego Zoo became known around the world for his repeated break-outs in enclosures thought to be impossible to outsmart. In the summer of 1985, the clever primate somehow managed to set himself free on three separate occasions, taking the opportunity to stroll peacefully around the zoo. Ken was so clever, he even demonstrated to other orangutans how to get out by using a tree branch as a crowbar to pop open the gates to their enclosures too.
4. Raccoon picks the perfect time to ditch captivity
Officials at the Tropiquaria Zoo in Somerset, England had thought that their raccoon were happy enough with life, showing no particular desire to running away – but it turned out not to be the case. After a few days of heavy rains and flooding in the area earlier, one of the captive raccoons, a female named Missy, seized upon the opportunity to make a break for freedom. With the normally hardened soil around the perimeter of softened in the downpour, the clever creature was able to dig a hole big enough to slip through while no one was watching, escaping into the night. Her life on the lam, however, was short lived. Perhaps realizing that she’d left behind the only other raccoon around back at the zoo, Missy was discovered five weeks later, hiding out in an unused building not far from her enclosure.
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Video resource: WATOP