Seven chimpanzees escaped their enclosure Thursday afternoon around 3:30pm at the Kansas City Zoo.
Zoo officials said the ring leader pulled down a large tree branch and propped it against the wall of the exhibit. He then encouraged his chimp friends to get a little wild and break free.
Zoo officials said only three of the seven chimps actually climbed over the wall exhibit and entered the zoo keeper's area. They added that at no time were any of the chimps running loose in public areas.
The zoo still issued a code red as a safety precaution, which meant the public was ushered into locked buildings. Zoo keepers in the Africa area stayed in locked cars while zoo personnel inside the chimp holding area lured the chimps back in using chocolate milk balls.
About 30 patrons waited for about an hour, listening to updates via zoo personnel radios before given the all-clear.
"This is a learning experience for my children to make sure they stay away from wild animals," one woman said. "A very, very healthy experience."
Around 5:30p.m the zoo officials began to let people leave. No person or animal sustained any injuries