Five chimps caused panic at a German zoo after they escaped using a ladder constructed out of tree branches. In a separate incident, police in Las Vegas shot and killed a chimp and tranquilized another after they escaped.
According to the Daily Mail, five chimps scaled their enclosure wall Wednesday and strolled around in the premises of Hanover's Experience Zoo in Germany. There were about 2,500 visitors at the zoo when the chimps escaped.
Although the chimps did not attack any of the visitors, a five-year-old girl and an elderly man were injured as zoo visitors panicked and rushed to exit the park. Contrary to some reports indicating the chimps wounded the girl, the Daily Mail reports she fell in fright when she saw the chimps.
AFP reports she suffered light head wounds, but she was not seriously injured. The elderly man was trapped in a tropical house in 100 degree heat while the chimps roamed the grounds of the park.
Police arrived at the scene to help zoo officials control the animals. The zoo keepers were armed with pepper spray, the Daily Mail reports.
Chimpanzees are much stronger than the average human and can easily inflict fatal injuries when they attack humans.
Of the five chimps that escaped, four returned to their enclosure on their own, but the leader of the group, Maxi, continued roaming the park long after his companions had returned to the enclosure.
AFP reports that zoo spokesperson Simone Hagenmeyer, said: "He [Maxi] took himself off to see the head gorilla. He was a bit harder to coax back. He’s getting on a bit so we gave him a ladder to climb back into the enclosure."
The Daily Mail reports an inquiry is on to determine what led to the escape. But the zoo must settle a huge bill for the police, ambulance and fire engines that raced to the scene.
Las Vegas: Police shoot one chimp, tranquilized another
Following the drama in Germany, police in Las Vegas say they were forced to kill one chimpanzee and tranquilize another after they escaped from a Las Vegas home and endangered local residents.
The chimps, a male and a female, were spotted wandering the streets of a residential area. The Los Angeles Times reports that residents called dispatchers shortly after 10 a.m., saying that two escaped chimps were acting "aggressively" in the northwest Las vegas neighborhood. According to police spokesperson Laura Meltzer, officers found the chimps in an "agitated state."
She said: "The male, which was estimated to weigh 170 pounds, was pounding on cars and damaging vehicles."
The male chimp was shot when he tried to cross a major street toward a group of onlookers. According to the police, many of the onlookers were holding young children. Meltzer said, "The officer felt the bystanders were in danger."
In effort to preempt criticism of police action, officer Marcus Martin, according to News.com, said: "When you see the size of these animals, we think reasonable people would understand."
Animal control officers located the female chimp and tranquilized her.
According to News.com, a permit is required to keep a wild animal in Las Vegas. City officials said no permits were ever issued for the chimps.
It was unclear where the animals came from. Police say they are investigating the incident