Puiwa briefly escaped from an enclosure at the Honolulu Zoo
Chimpanzee exhibit at the zoo is closed while crews repair a damaged wall
WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) -
The mayor's office says a chimpanzee escaped from its Honolulu Zoo exhibit by climbing a damaged wall.
"The damage is a half dollar size chip...that's approximately half an inch deep," said Jeff Wilkinson, Honolulu Zoo Director.
Wilkinson said the chimp used the hole as leverage to climb up.
The nearly 15-year-old chimp named Puiwa got out of the exhibit for less than on hour last week before he was captured and subdued with a tranquilizer dart.
Officials say an investigation revealed that Puiwa was able to escape to the outer edge of the exhibit because of damage to the chimpanzee exhibit 15-foot wall.
Wilkinson says they will also be adding an overhang to the exhibit. That way, if a chimp climbs up the wall, they won't be able to get out. Wilkinson says this will be the first exhibit with that type of overhang at the Honolulu Zoo.
The exhibit will be closed for about a month while repairs and modifications are done.
Lisa Kesterson came to the zoo on Wednesday to see the chimps, only to find a sign instead.
"I am a little disappointed but I will be back," said Kesterson.
Puiwa and the zoo's seven other chimps are living in their sleeping quarters during the repairs.
"Keepers will continue to monitor our eight chimps closely in their off exhibit holding. The chimps have a day pen that is large enough for eight chimps to socialize, exercise and play," Wilkinson said.