Speed Reads

The Fate of Civilization

Watch 7 smart chimpanzees escape their pen using a tree branch


Seven smart chimpanzees figured out a way to successfully escape their enclosure at the Kansas City Zoo in a series of events that could rival Planet of the Apes. The escape started at about 4 p.m. yesterday when one of the chimps snapped a tree limb in half and used it to scale the pen's wall. He then encouraged the other primates to follow — but they didn't get far.

The zoo was placed on lockdown until employees hatched a plan to trap them. Since dinner was nearing, zoo keepers lured the chimps back to the pen using their usual grub of celery, carrots, and lettuce. However, one chimp was still reluctant to go home, so a keeper used a bag of malted milk balls to get him back in. "That was the clincher," said zoo director Randy Wisthoff.

No one was injured and patrons were kept inside until the chimps were caught. The exhibit is closed today as employees check for security gaps. -- Jordan Valinsky