A 70-pound orangutan escaped his enclosure Wednesday for about 15 minutes before Oklahoma City Zoo workers got him back into a holding area of the Great EscApe exhibit.
Shortly after 10 a.m., Elok, an 8-year-old Sumatran orangutan, climbed into a dry moat surrounding his enclosure and over an exterior wall into a flower bed next to a guest path. No guests were in the immediate area at the time, said zoo officials, who waited until the next day to issue a news release about the incident. "He shimmied underneath the hotwire and down the moat. We’re not sure how he got out on the other side,” zoo spokeswoman Tara Henson said. A zoo employee saw the escape and called "code red,” which alerted other employees a dangerous animal was loose. An announcement was made over speakers, and about 20 guests, along with workers, were ushered into buildings as a precaution. Elok had walked about 100 feet from his habitat when zoo employees arrived in several vehicles, zoo Executive Director Dwight Scott said. Elok climbed into the back of a zoo pickup, and the driver drove him back to the ape holding area. "He was very calm.
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Past incidentIn 2003, a young female gorilla used a fallen branch to escape her enclosure at the zoo. She saw a keeper and returned to her exhibit, Scott said. That led the zoo to change procedures.