Chimp Escapes Zoo Enclosure With Fallen Tree Branch

Chimpanzees climbed out of their enclosure at the Belfast Zoo.
Chimpanzees climbed out of their enclosure at the Belfast Zoo.(Danielle Monaghan and Dean McFaul)

A family had a close encounter at a Northern Ireland zoo when a chimpanzee used a broken tree limb to scale a wall and escape its enclosure.

It was the great escape as one chimpanzee after another attempted to use branches to saunter out of their enclosure.

It all started when a chimp at the Belfast Zoo in Northern Ireland spotted a fallen tree limb leaned up against the wall of their enclosure after a storm and used it as a makeshift ladder to mount the wall.

Other chimpanzees begin to follow his lead but hesitated before actually making the big leap.

“Better tell somebody,” a child hilariously exclaims in a video shot by Danielle Monaghan and Dean McFaul.

The leader chimp ended up making it so far it began walking along pedestrian roads in the zoo, as visitors could be heard in hysterics in the background of the video.

Monaghan told BBC News, “I was petrified, obviously, having the kids and I tried not to show fear but inside I was a bit like, what happens if it attacks us or tries to take the kids or run over? But we just had to stay calm.”

The chimpanzee eventually wandered back into its enclosure all on its own.

"They're intelligent primates and know they're not supposed to be out of their enclosure, so got back in themselves," said Alyn Cairns of the Belfast Zoo in an interview with BBC News.