Three chimpanzees in a zoo escape from their enclosure, they are shot

A Swedish zoo has been forced to put down three of its chimpanzees after they ran away from their enclosure, with the situation still out of control on Thursday, according to the zoo. A fourth primate was injured by one of the shots, according to the company that runs Furuvik zoo, located just under 200 km north of Stockholm.

“A chimpanzee is considered a high-risk animal, if that kind of animal is found outside the park, it becomes a danger to people’s lives,” explained Annika Troselius, spokesperson for the Parks and Resorts group, which owns the zoo. Shortly after noon on Wednesday, five of the zoo’s seven chimpanzees were released from their enclosures for an as-yet-unknown reason and found themselves free on park grounds.

Unusual escapes in other Swedish zoos

According to the zoo, falling asleep was not an option. “To shoot a stun gun, you have to be very close to the animal. Added to this is the need to wait up to ten minutes for the sleeping pill to take effect,” argued the establishment in the face of criticism of the management of the incident. By noon on Thursday, the four primates still alive were in the building dedicated to monkeys but had still not returned to their enclosure, Furuvik Zoo said on Facebook.

“This means that we cannot allow people to move inside the park and that we are always on high alert,” the establishment said in a press release. Although closed for the season, park staff were on scene during the incident. The latter adds to an unusual series of escapes from zoos in Sweden: at the end of October, a king cobra from the zoo in the famous Skansen Park in Stockholm escaped from its vivarium and was only found after a week. A month later, two owls from the same zoo had escaped from their aviaries.

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