World's greatest animal escapes

  • 13/04/2016
World's greatest animal escapes

Yesterday, one of New Zealand's greatest escapes came to the public's attention.

The first thing that  may come to mind is a prisoner tunnelling their way out of jail -- spoon in hand, getaway car at the ready -- but this was nothing of the sort.

Inky the octopus was the escapee. His dream, to get out of his confines at Napier Museum and freely roam the ocean floor once more. He slipped out of a gap in the top of his enclosure, legged it across a wet floor, and squeezed through a drain that led back to the sea.

World's greatest animal escapes

Inky the Octopus. (NZ National Aquarium/Supplied)

"You go INKY be FREE and DON"T look back (sic)," one Facebook poster said.

"Yes bye inky swim and don't stop till your out of harms way (sic)," wrote another.

"That's the best news lve heard all year.Woop woop (sic)."

The eight-tentacled, boneless cephalopod warmed hearts in New Zealand -- and around the world. So we got to thinking about other great animal escapes.

Fear defying Siamang gibbons - Christchurch's Orana Wildlife Park, 2013

Three Siamang gibbons defied expectations when one swam across a moat and two others jumped from a high rope to join him outside their enclosure at Christchurch's Orana Wildlife Park. They evaded capture for about two hours. Guards were surprised, as gibbons are thought to hate water.

World's greatest animal escapes

Burma the elephant - Auckland Zoo, 2004

Burma the elephant dropped a large log on to an electric fence, deactivating it. She then climbed into a moat and walked along the zoo fence line.

Lion the Cheetah cub - Orana Wildlife Park, 2014

An electric fence at the zoo was turned off because of flooding. It meant a cheetah cub named Lion was able to swim a moat -- despite having to touch another 4000-volt fence -- and get into a public area. "We are still scratching our heads how it got out," a zoo worker said at the time. The cub was only out for 10 minutes and seemed pleased when keepers arrived to return it to the cage.

Wild Bengal tiger temporarily tames himself for love - India's Nandankanan Zoo, 2013

India's Nandankanan Zoo was astonished when a wild Bengal tiger wandered out of the forest to court the zoo's female tiger. The zoo kept him, and he seemed content. He eventually returned to the call of the wild however, by scaling a nearly two-storey wall.

Jin the otter - Auckland Zoo, 2010

Jin the Otter bolted from Auckland Zoo and spent nearly a month on the run around the Waitemata Harbour. She escaped from a nesting box which wasn't properly secured and was eventually recaptured on Rangitoto Island.

World's greatest animal escapes

Flamingo's eight year evasion - Kansas zoo, 2005

An African flamingo escaped a Kansas zoo when its keepers hadn't clipped its wings. It wasn't spotted for eight years, by which time it had travelled to Texas. The zoo let it stay free.

Fox, boar and kangaroos collaborate - Germany, 2012

With the help of a fox and a boar, three kangaroos hopped it at an animal park in Frankfurt, Germany. The kangaroos crawled through a hole under a fence dug by a fox, and through a hole in an exterior wall made by a wild boar.

Penguin hits the town - Tokyo, 2012

A one-year-old Humboldt penguin somehow scaled a four metre wall and got through a barbed-wire fence to escape into Tokyo Bay. The penguin was seen many times in the three months it spent on the run around the Japanese city.

Monkeys go bananas - US, 1935

A horde of monkeys escaped collector Frank Buck's Animal Park. The original New York Times article says they got out when the enclosure was left open and went bananas in the neighbouring town. Residents were offered a season pass to the park if they returned a monkey.