News State Western Australia News Sumatran orangutan escapes Perth Zoo enclosure

Sumatran orangutan escapes Perth Zoo enclosure

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A curious Sumatran orangutan has startled visitors, after she escaped from her enclosure at the Perth Zoo on Sunday.

The ape, five-year-old female Teliti, briefly explored the boardwalk area before returning to the orangutan building, where zoo keepers ushered her into a secure holding area.

Zoo staff said Teliti may have used a shade sail to jump from the exhibit she shares with her mother.

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“It’s actually believed that Teliti jumped from her exhibit,” Perth Zoo spokeswoman Danielle Henry said.

“That’s a behaviour which is quite unusual for an orangutan.

“They would normally swing or climb, but jumping is quite an unusual behaviour.

“We think that she’s actually utilised a shade sail within her exhibit to hoist herself up so we’re conducting a full review at the moment.”

Ms Henry said the ape did not threaten any visitors, but did give them a surprise.

“I think visitors were actually a little bit shocked and excited to see an orangutan on their side of the fence, a little bit of a closer encounter than what they were expecting,” she said.

The zoo’s primate supervisor Holly Thompson described Teliti as a very gregarious and curious youngster.

“Like a lot of adventurous five-year-olds, she has taken the opportunity to test her boundaries, but soon realised it was preferable with her orangutan colony,” she said.

“Her calm nature and trust in her dedicated keepers enabled us to quickly secure her in the orangutan night quarters.”

Perth Zoo said visitor and animal safety was their number one priority and a full review of the incident was underway.

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