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Chimpanzee that escaped enclosure at Honolulu Zoo has gotten out - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Chimpanzee that escaped enclosure at Honolulu Zoo has gotten out before

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Honolulu Zoo's Pu'iwa the chimp, does it again.

Twice now, the 17-year-old male chimpanzee has escaped its enclosure.

"At around 11:45, one of our staff members observed while they were cleaning a chimp between the chimp exhibit and the hallway of the holding that signaled he was out," Assistant Director of the Honolulu Zoo, Linda Santos said.

Pu'iwa scaled the 16 to 20 foot-high exhibit wall, Santos says, forcing the zoo to issue a "Code Red," Sunday afternoon. 

"As they went into the exhibit, they saw chunks of concrete that looked like he had worked on to get a finger-hold.. and since he is the rock climber in the group he was able to scale the wall," Santos said. "The whole thing was 13 minutes.. so he was 10 minutes out, and then they didn't call an all clear until they actually knew he was contained and locked down in the facility."

Santos says Pu'iwa eventually walked back into his enclosure. No one was hurt. 

In the summer of 2014, a visitor spotted Pu'iwa out of containment, walking along the exhibit wall.

Following his first escape, the zoo modified the front and side walls of the enclosure.

"We redid the walls, smoothed it out quite a bit, but the area that he currently escaped from was not part of that last exhibit," Santos said. 

But this particular primate wasn't the first chimp All eight chimps at Honolulu Zoo are now in a holding area.to get out. 

In 1996, five chimpanzees used a low-hanging branch to escape, so the zoo ordered all vegetation cleared back. 

Then in 2004, chimps swung so much against the glass enclosure, it broke, and the glass had to be replaced. 

Honolulu Zoo's chimpanzee exhibit is now closed until further notice. 

"As we are assessing the exhibit to see what may have to be done, maybe some concrete work and more hotwire, depending on the type of repairs it will tell us how long it will take," Santos said.

As for Pu'iwa, it's still undetermined whether or not he'll be leaving the island. 

"He is one of the males that we are looking at for trading out for breeding with SSP, the Species Survival Plan," Santos said.

All eight chimps at Honolulu Zoo are now in a holding area.

"We learn from it. We learn from other zoos and we hope this will be the end of it once we repair the exhibit," Santos added. "The zoo is a safe place and our staff his highly trained.. and I want to commend them for the great job that they did yesterday."

According to Santos, all of the zoo's exhibits are inspected daily. 

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