Visakhapatnam: Two of the three chimps that had been brought to Vizag Zoo from Israel last year had a brief taste of freedom. Of the three Chimpanzees, Chiko (male), Chipa (female), and Chikitha (female), Chikitha and Chiko scaled the walls of their enclosure, crossed the solar fencing and strayed out at around 9.50 am on Friday.
Animal keeper Mr G. Chinna Rao noticed the chimps wandering and alerted zoo officers on duty. An emergency response team rushed to the spot with the required nets, and tranquilising equipment.
Initially, they tried to lure the two chimps back into the enclosure by dangling fruits, but this did not help. Chikitha had to be tranquilized and taken back to the enclosure, and Chiko followed them back on his own.
The zoo was closed for about two hours. According to zoo curator B. Vijaya Kumar, all the chimpanzees are safe and healthy.
As per some of the zoo staff, the chimps were able to escape using a pipe that was lying in the enclosure, which the staff had overlooked.
However, the curator said that the incident had occurred due to failure of the solar fencing fuse. He said that a detailed investigation would be carried out to ensure that the event did not reoccur.
Delegates from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority had visited Vizag zoo last year, and were impressed with the zoo’s vast space. They agreed to gift three chimps to the zoo.
They had also expressed an interest in giving them four zebras. About US $21,000 (approximately Rs 12.6 lakh) was spent on transporting the chimps....