Melbourne Zoo reopens after ape escape

  • 14/07/2015
Malu the orang-utan used his adept climbing skills to escape  (Melbourne Zoo)
Malu the orang-utan used his adept climbing skills to escape (Melbourne Zoo)

By 3 News online staff

Work is underway to fix the roof of an orang-utan enclosure are Melbourne Zoo after an ape escape gave visitors a kind of wild encounter they weren't expecting.

The zoo went into lockdown yesterday afternoon after 11-year-old Menyaru, also known as Malu, managed to get out of his enclosure apparently using his blanket to exploit a hole in the roof, reports.

It is believed Malu used a blanket as leverage to break the top wire of the enclosure before walking along the roof, 9 News reports.

A member of the public alerted zoo staff to the escapee, but not before Malu had made it to the enclosure's public viewing platform.

It was about an hour until the ape, a native of Sumatra, was tranquilised and then moved to his normal sleeping area.

A zoo spokesperson says Malu is trained to hold out his arm to receive needle jabs which made it easier to get him back under control.

In a statement, the zoo said staff "acted quickly to lockdown the zoo" and all visitors were taken into secure area.

The zoo later tweeted a photo of Malu, saying he'd returned to his "night quarters after a brief stroll through the public area".

The zoo has since reopened to the public.

3 News