Monkey business as baboon bids for freedom

THE monkey house at Edinburgh Zoo had to be closed yesterday after a baboon escaped from its enclosure.

The Gelada baboon sneaked past an electric fence in its bid for freedom. The incident, which happened just after 3pm, was witnessed by Marie Turner who was visiting with her boyfriend.

She said: "We were in the viewing hut and there was a monkey and it was just sitting beside the fence, then it started to climb up and it stuck its head out the top a few times. It obviously realised it could get out and so it sat on the roof of the hut eating."

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She added: "We were all taken out so they could catch it. We were out for about 20 minutes. It was just a young one."

A zoo insider described the incident as a "fluke" but admitted they would have to improve security at the enclosure.

The source said: "He's just a tiny little thing and he did a back flip and managed to get out.

"It's unusual for there to be so many baby baboons and keepers will be making modifications to the electric fence."

The insider said the escaped animal did not pose a significant risk to the public, describing it as the "least dangerous" of the primates.

The baboon is not the first primate to make a bid for freedom from the zoo. Two years ago five barbary macaques escaped from their enclosure.

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