Rhino on the Loose!

Archie the rhino

Archie the rhino escaped from his pen at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

Archie, a 41-year-old, 4000 pound rhinoceros at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in Florida, managed to escape from his enclosure.  Zoo workers were not able to lure Archie back to his pen with food — a tactic that worked years ago when he attempted escape once before.

Although out of his enclosure, the rhino was never near any of the zoo visitors because he was still fenced out of public areas.  After sedating Archie, 20 zoo workers were able to lead him down a service road into his pen.

Zoo employees believe he was able to escape because the door to his enclosure was not secured properly.

For more info, see: CBS4.com.

Zoo Hippo on the Run in Montenegro

When a private zoo on a small island on Lake Skadar in Montenegro was flooded, Nikica, an 11-year old hippopotamus, seized the opportunity for freedom. As waters rose, she was able to bob to the top of her enclosure and escape.  Though currently being tracked by zoo officials, the two-tonne hippo could pose a threat to people. Villagers have been warned to keep a safe distance. “When I left my house to feed my cow, I saw a hippo standing in front of the stall,” said a farmer, Nikola Radovic. “I thought I was losing my mind.”

Watch the video footage of Nikica here below.

For more info about the hippo escape, see The Times Online. For more stories of animal escapes, see our 2009 wrap-up of Great Animal Escapes.

To learn more about hippos, see Animal Fact Guide’s article: Hippopotamus.

Great Animal Escapes

Sometimes animals outsmart us. This year, we witnessed several bold and cunning escapes.

Otter Escapes from Kansas Zoo
Kyra, a resident of the Hutchinson Zoo in Kansas, escaped from her zoo habitat on Valentine’s day and spent the week pond-hopping. Easily catching fish in other area ponds, she was unfazed by zookeeper attempts to lure her back with fish treats. But finally, she succumbed to the temptation of a hard-boiled egg.


Octopus Escapes New Zealand Aquarium

An octopus named Sid spent 5 days on the lam after escaping from his tank in a New Zealand aquarium. Sid managed to elude detection for those days by hiding in a drain that pumped fresh sea water into the aquarium.  He was caught after being spotted making a dash for an open door.


Orangutan Plans Great Escape from Adelaide Zoo

Jamming a stick into the wires of the electric fence surrounding her, Karta, a 27-year old orangutan, short-circuited the system. She then piled up debris near the concrete and glass wall and climbed out. However, after literally sitting on the fence for half an hour, she decided to go back in the enclosure after all.


Wily Prairie Dogs Escape New Exhibit at Maryland Zoo

Ten minutes after the opening of a new $500,000 prairie dog exhibit, the clever rodents found multiple escape routes.  Climbing and jumping over the walls, the prairie dogs had zoo workers in a frenzy chasing after them with nets.


Chimp Escape at the Chester Zoo

Thirty chimpanzees escaped from their enclosure at the Chester Zoo in England.  They made their way into a food preparation area and had the feast of their lives.


Harbor Seal Makes Trek into a Cape Cod Hatchery

Although this is less of an escape and more of a break-in, we had to include it. A young harbor seal was discovered in a state fish hatchery in the town of Sandwich in Cape Cod, where she had her pick of delicious trout to eat. What makes the story so interesting is that the seal would have had to waddle on land for 2 miles, including stretches on the boardwalk and through a tunnel under a busy highway, to make it into the hatchery.

Harbor Seal

Chimp Escape!

chesterchimp1
Thousands of people were evacuated from the Chester Zoo in the UK on Sunday, July 5 because of an escape attempt by chimpanzees. About thirty of the intelligent primates had escaped from their enclosure into a food preparation area where they ate their fill. Zoo officials claim that no patrons were in danger, but it was a precaution to evacuate the area. The chimps have since been returned to their enclosure, and a blacksmith has come to check the locks and bars. The zoo was open for business on Monday.

For more visit the BBC.

Wily Prairie Dogs Escape from New Exhibit

Prairie dogs at Maryland Zoo

Yesterday, the Maryland Zoo opened its new $500,000 prairie dog habitat.  Unfortunately, within ten minutes, several prairie dogs tested the limits of their new home and found multiple escape routes.  Climbing and jumping over the walls, the prairie dogs had zoo workers in a frenzy chasing after them with nets.

In the end, all the prairie dogs were returned and the enclosure was secured.

For more info, see: Baltimore Sun

To learn more about prairie dogs and their interesting behavior, see Animal Fact Guide’s article about Black-tailed Prairie Dogs.

Orangutan Plans Great Escape from Australian Zoo

At the Adelaide Zoo, Karta, a 27-year-old female orangutan hatched an ingenious plan to escape from her enclosure. Jamming a stick into the wires of the electric fence surrounding her, she short-circuited the system. She then piled up debris near the concrete and glass wall and climbed out. However, after literally sitting on the fence for half an hour, she decided to go back in the enclosure after all. Zoo veterinarians stood by with tranquilizer guns just in case.

For more info on Karta, see MSNBC.com.

To learn more about orangutans and their clever use of tools, see Animal Fact Guide’s article: Bornean Orangutan.

Zoo Otter Returns after Week-long Vacation

Kyra the otterKyra, a resident of the Hutchinson Zoo in Kansas, escaped from her zoo habitat on Valentine’s day and spent the week pond-hopping. Easily catching fish in other area ponds, she was unfazed by zookeeper attempts to lure her back with fish treats. But finally, she succumbed to the temptation of a hard-boiled egg. Kyra is now safely back in the zoo.

For more info: http://www.kake.com/news/headlines/40215772.html

5 Days on the Run!

An octopus named Sid spent 5 days on the lam after escaping from his tank in a New Zealand aquarium. Sid managed to elude detection for those days by hiding in a drain that pumped fresh sea water into the aquarium.  He was caught after being spotted making a dash for an open door. Though hungry, Sid was unhurt. The aquarium staff decided that it was best to release Sid, who is an older octopus, back into the wild.

Additional story: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/13/2490473.htm

For more information on octopuses, read Animal Fact Guide’s article, Common Octopus.