A chimpanzee made an aborted getaway effort when it escapedfrom its exhibit at the Honolulu Zoo recently. When the sinister simian luckilyjumped into the holding area, rather than going through a walk-through areathat could have put it in direct contact with human visitors, it was afortunate directional choice for all, including the visitors as well as theprimate.
A chimpanzee has a genetic profile that is 98% the same as ahuman being, but a chimp is not simply a cute monkey often seen at the zoo. Whereaswild chimps are normally scared of outsiders, supposedly domesticated chimpscan be very ornery, and there are stories of attacks from chimps that wouldmake one wonder why anyone would choose to house one as a pet, as some peoplehave over the years. Remember the poor Connecticut woman who had her face andhands bitten off by her friend's pet chimp in a car seven years ago? For ourtroubled, yet rebounding Honolulu Zoo, this monkey escapade not becoming abigger incident was a real blessing, as the zoo is working on getting back its officialaccreditation and is in line for more city-provided funds in the years ahead tohelp it grow and prosper. A rampaging primate that got loose because of poorly of a constructedor poorly inspected exhibit area could have led to tragedy, or at least led toembarrassment and some more bad publicity for the rebounding facility.
Luckily, the chimp jumped into a holding area and was peacefullyplaced back in its pen within minutes. Let's hope the zoo uses thissafely-resolved incident to look further into all of its animal enclosures, itssafety procedures and its future plans to make the zoo a more interactive andenticing guest destination that we can all be proud of and look forward tovisiting with the kids. Think about it….