Albuquerque zoo goes on lockdown after ape escape

Siamang slips through hole in enclosure

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque’s zoo briefly went on lockdown after a siamang escaped from its enclosure Saturday morning.

Zoo officials say Tika, a 2-year-old ape, slipped through a hole in the mesh of its enclosure and couldn’t find a way back in. Although Tika didn’t go far, the zoo was put on lockdown.

Zoo visitors tell KRQE News 13 they were ushered into buildings and asked to stay inside for approximately one hour while keepers tried to get the siamang, a gibbon native to southeast Asia, back in its enclosure.

Once keepers cut a larger hole in the mesh, Tika went back into the exhibit with her mother.

Dana Feldman, the city’s director of cultural services, says a tree branch may have caused the initial tear. The mesh on that exhibit was already scheduled to be replaced and should be swapped out within the next two months.

The siamangs will not be on display for the next few days while the hole is repaired.

Tika was named by zoo visitors following a 2014 contest.

This isn’t the first time siamangs have gotten out of their exhibit at Albuquerque’s zoo. In 2015, a siamang broke into a neighboring lemur exhibit and bit two of the lemurs on their tails, killing one of them. Those two animals are no longer kept next to each other.

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