Zoo in lockdown after 7 chimps bizarrely escape enclosure and take over grounds

Three chimps had to be shot dead after a gang of seven managed to escape their enclosure and wander around zoo grounds in Sweden.

Furuvik Zoo, which is around 105 miles north of Stockholm, had been closed for the season when the primates mysteriously escaped their enclosure.

The four other chimpanzees, one of which is wounded, are now in the monkey house again – but not inside their enclosure yet.

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“A chimpanzee is considered a high-risk animal. If this kind of animal gets out into the zoo, it can pose a threat to people’s lives”, Annika Troselius, a spokeswoman for Parks and Resorts, told AFP.

Even though there were no visitors in the park when the group escaped on Wednesday, the decision was taken to evacuate staff and shoot at the animals.

Three were killed immediately and the wounded animal returned to its enclosure on its own.

Posting on Facebook, a park spokesperson said that because three of the animals are still at large, management "cannot yet allow people to move freely in the park and we are still on full alert".

The statement added that the situation was “extremely serious and tragic, both for our animals and our employees”.

The zoo said it has no idea how the chimps escaped.

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It added that the animals had to be shot because there was not enough tranquiliser for all of them.

“Our focus right now is to get an overview of where the four are now so that we can start working on getting them back to their enclosures in a safe way,” Annika Troselius, a spokesperson for the company operating the zoo, told the Swedish broadcaster SVT.

“We have to think about people’s lives and safety in the first place. No employees are allowed to work in close contact with animals like this,” she said.

In October, a venomous king cobra escaped from its enclosure in Stockholm before returning himself.

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