French Baboons Get Their Planet of the Apes Moment

52 baboons escaped at a Paris zoo on Friday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2018 1:36 PM CST
Stock image   (Getty Images/mg81)

(Newser) – It was a baboon hullabaloo Friday morning in France when 52 of the animals escaped their enclosure at the Paris Zoological Park, leading to an evacuation and police response, BuzzFeed reports. Zoo spokesperson Jérôme Munier says the excitement started when a staff member saw a baboon in a service corridor. According to the Local, it's as yet unclear how the baboons escaped. The animals immediately headed for the Grand Rocher, a giant fake rock concealing water reservoirs at the center of the zoo that the Guardian states "resembles the backdrop to a King Kong movie."

Police surrounded the zoo and closed roads while zoo guests were evacuated as a precaution. Zoo officials say baboons are "stronger than us" and can get erratic "especially when stressed." Within hours, 48 of the baboons had been returned to their enclosure. The zoo says the other four—which have been spotted—should be returned soon. “The dominant males have already gone back,” one official says. Munier says there were no run-ins between the animals and guests, and the zoo says none of the baboons left the premises.

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