When a chimpanzee escaped from the Honolulu Zoo last week it understandably provoked concern from zookeepers who quickly subdued him with a single tranquilizer dart and returned him to his cage. 

Now, new details have emerged about 15-year old Pu‘iwa’s escape.

The cause of the escape was a small hole, the size of a silver dollar, that was 8-feet high on one of the retaining walls. Pu‘iwa jumped up, put his finger in the hole and then scaled the wall, according to Jay Parasco, a spokesman for Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. 

“They are very clever and athletic,” he said. 

Now, zoo officials are filling the hole and looking to make sure there aren’t any other defects, while also making it more difficult to climb over the containment. 

It’s expected to take four weeks and cost up to $100,000 to make the repairs. 

For the time being, Pu‘iwa and the band of seven other chimps, are being housed in their sleeping quarters. 

Honolulu Zoo Director Jeffrey Wilkinson briefs the media on chimpanzee investigation.

Jay Parasco

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