Chimps that escaped Belfast zoo enclosure used branches as a ladder

A chimpanzee is seen in a file photo. A group of chimps recently escaped from their enclosure at a zoo in Northern Ireland. (Photo by Jesus Merida/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Zookeepers say a group of chimpanzees used branches weakened by a storm to make a ladder and escape from their enclosure at the Belfast Zoo.

Video filmed Saturday by visitors to the Northern Ireland zoo showed several primates scaling a wall and perching atop it, with one walking down a path outside the enclosure.

Zookeeper Alyn Cairns said trees in the chimps’ enclosure had been weakened by recent storms, allowing the animals to break them and fashion a ladder to escape.

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He told the BBC “they’re intelligent primates and know they’re not supposed to be out of their enclosure, so got back in themselves.”

Two weeks ago a rare red panda escaped from the same zoo when its electric fences failed. The animal was recaptured in the driveway of a nearby house.

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