Monday, March 24, 2008

Monkey Enjoys Brief Escape From Fresno Zoo

A small monkey managed to escape from his enclosure Friday morning at Fresno Chaffee Zoo, but he did not get far, zoo officials said.

Kijani, a 10-pound white and black colobus monkey, was seen on top of his enclosure shortly before 10 a.m. by a keeper.

But he never left the top of the enclosure, which is across from the zoo's concession stand, said Patty Peters, the zoo's director of marketing. A colobus monkey does not pose a danger to visitors, she said.

The zoo remained open, but the eastern portion -- with the bear, anteaters, lemurs and binturong -- was closed to visitors while staff tried to coax Kijani from the top of his cage.

"He just sat there. He didn't go anywhere," Peters said.

About 12:30 p.m., after feeding the monkey grapes spiked with a tranquilizer, zoo officials decided to use a dart-type tranquilizer to end the stalemate.

After being struck by the tranquilizer, Kijani was taken to the zoo's hospital, where he was recovering from sedation Friday afternoon, Peters said.

Later Friday afternoon, zoo staff determined the escape was caused by keeper error, she said. The zoo has four colobus monkeys in the exhibit.

In 2004, Siabu the orangutan broke out of her enclosure at the zoo, causing zookeepers to temporarily close the zoo.

Siabu returned to her enclosure on her own within 10 minutes with no harm done.


Story here.

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