Thursday, April 03, 2008

Another Chimpanzee Escape At Bastrop Facility

A chimpanzee escaped from the Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research in Bastrop Wednesday afternoon — less than a month after another chimpanzee escaped and was shot several times, a spokeswoman for the center said this morning.

The chimpanzee that escaped yesterday was re-captured quickly and returned to its enclosure, according to Wendy Gottsegen, a spokeswoman for the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, which the Bastrop facility is affiliated with.

The escape is the third of its kind in the past six months.

The first incident happened in November, when three chimps escaped from the Primadome, an outdoor roofed enclosure separate from the corrals.

Two of the escaped chimpanzees were quickly corralled and the third chimp, Jake, was recaptured three hours later.

The second involved Tony, an 18-year-old chimp who leaped 16 feet from a telephone jungle gym to a perimeter wall of the facility and escaped by climbing over on March 12, the center’s director said. A University of Texas police officer shot Tony seven times after two tranquilizer darts failed to work on the chimp, Gottsegen said.

It is unclear whether that officer is still on paid administrative leave while the incident involving Tony is investigated.

Gottsegen said the incidents are all very different and to have three incidents happen in recent months is “very unusual.”

Story here.

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