A Honolulu Zoo chimpanzee named Pueva briefly escaped from his habitat Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday morning, zoo officials explained what they know so far about the incident, which is still under investigation.

At around 4 p.m. Tuesday, a visitor spotted Pueve walking along the perimeter of the wall that surrounds the chimpanzee enclosure. Within minutes, zoo officials issued a “code red category 2.”


Chimpanzees at the Honolulu Zoo.


Visitors were escorted out of the park while a capture team came in and sedated Pueva, using a single tranquilizer dart.

Pueva was back in his habitat by 5 p.m.

It wasn’t the first time a chimp has escaped from the Honolulu Zoo. In 1997, a chimp got out of the same enclosure by climbing a limb of a tree hanging over the habitat. The zoo resolved the issue by cutting and removing trees around the habitat.

How Pueva escaped is still being investigated, officials said Wednesday.

Nobody — including Pueva — was injured during the escape.

“Public safety is our number one priority,” said Zoo Director Jeff Wilkenson. “We want to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”

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