A chimpanzee escaped from a zoo in northern Japan, climbed a tall electricity pole and then plunged from the wires into a blanket held by a dozen workers after being hit with a sedative arrow. Chacha, a male chimp, survived the fall with minor bruises and cuts, a zoo official said Friday.
The chimpanzee was on the loose for nearly two hours Thursday after it disappeared from the Yagiyama Zoological Park in Sendai, the city that’s hosting finance ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations in May.
TV footage showed Chacha perched atop a pole, agitated and screaming at zoo workers below. A worker in a cherry picker shot the chimpanzee in the back with the arrow, sending it scampering along the wires.
Chacha pulled the arrow out, but dangling from an electric line, appeared to lose its grip as the sedative took effect, and suddenly fell head down into the blanket.
At 24, or middle age in human terms, the chimpanzee was waking up from the sedative and will be slow for a few days, zoo official Takashi Ito said.
The zoo was closed Friday as officials investigated how it escaped. Zoo officials have spotted a hole in the fence, through which the chimpanzee apparently made his breakout.