A wily male chimpanzee by the name of Cha Cha made his escape from the Yagiyama Zoological Park in Sendai, Japan, on Thursday. After leading authorities on a merry chase for over an hour, the chimp was eventually shot with a tranquilizer gun and recaptured.
Cha Cha, 24, the male chimp in question, is one of five chimpanzees in residence at the zoological park located in Sendai City, the capital of Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture. Apparently feeling the need for a little freedom, the chimp made his escape, and it was at 1:20 p.m. that zoo staff noticed his absence from his cage in the zoological park.
— CTV News (@CTVNews) April 14, 2016
As reported by the Japan Times, staff at the zoo decided to close the park as a safety precaution and then went on a hunt for the missing ape. Cha Cha the chimp was eventually spotted sitting on power pylons and scaling the power lines in a residential area of the city. It was then that the adventure of recapturing him began.
As can be seen in the video included below, Cha Cha the chimpanzee wasn’t too keen on being caught and was baring his teeth and lunging at the rescuers as they attempted to recapture him, all the while skillfully swinging his way along the power lines. However, someone finally shot him with a tranquilizer gun and the chase was over.
The tranquilized chimp tried to hang on to the power lies for as long as he could, but eventually fell and was caught safely by rescuers below at around 3:10 p.m.
While the excitement of the chase was ongoing, and for the safety of the children, a local elementary school with around 400 pupils ordered their students not to leave school until the chimpanzee was caught.
— The Straits Times (@STcom) April 14, 2016
Takashi Yamaguchi, the vice principal of the school, told the Japanese media, “When I saw (the chimpanzee) on television, it was quite big, so we thought it was dangerous to let the children out,” adding he was relieved the ape was caught safely.
As reported by the Telegraph, authorities at the zoo are now trying to figure out how Cha Cha the chimp managed to escape in the first place.
The city-run zoo in northern Japan reportedly opened back in 1965 and currently hosts around 478 animals.
In related news on the Inquisitr:
- NIH Medical Facilities Will No Longer Experiment On Chimpanzees In The U.S.: Animals To Be Moved To Sanctuaries
- U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Grants Captive Chimpanzees This Major Protection, Praised By Dr. Jane Goodall
- Chimpanzees Can Understand The Change From Raw To Cooked Food And Are Willing To Wait For It, Researchers Say
- Research Chimpanzees Abandoned In Liberia Left To Fend For Themselves, Humane Society Hopes To Help
While reportedly no one was hurt in the incident, including Cha Cha himself, a similar incident did cause injuries last year when three chimpanzees escaped their enclosure at the Oasis Park Zoo in Fuerteventura in Spain’s Canary Islands. An employee of the zoo, along with two of the park’s owners, was reportedly injured in the incident, but the animals were returned unharmed to their enclosure.
In more recent and happier chimp related news, it was confirmed towards the end of last year that NIH medical facilities would no longer run experiments on the remaining 50 chimpanzees in their facilities in the U.S. and would instead be sending the relieved animals to the Chimp Haven Sanctuary instead, where they will live out the rest of their lives in a more natural environment.
[Image via Shutterstock]